Do You Remember That the Month of September is PAD Awareness Month AND Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) Awareness Month?
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that’s unknown to many, yet it affects more than 230 million people worldwide. In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that more than 8.5 million people live with PAD, putting them at risk for serious complications.
PAD is characterized by a narrowing of the arteries that carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body. This narrowing, medically known as stenosis, ultimately impairs blood flow. PAD most commonly affects the lower half of the body (called lower- extremity PAD), and occurs when plaques build up in artery walls, narrow the walls, and reduce the flow of blood to the legs and feet.
Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is a common condition that affects at least
2.3 million adults in the U.S. It primarily develops in people over the age of 65. Patients with high blood pressure and heart disease, and those born with heart defects, have a greater risk of developing Afib.
Afib occurs when the electrical impulses that power the heart are uneven, causing the heart to beat irregularly. A heart with Afib works harder but pumps less blood. Blood can then pool in the heart, leading to possible stroke.
*Originally published in The Beat — August 2023. Read the full newsletter here.