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How do you diagnose PAD?

PAD is diagnosed by a healthcare provider after carefully reviewing one’s symptoms and “risk factors” and performing simple tests. Risk factors include age ≥ 70 years, a history of smoking or diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, known blockages at other sites (eg, heart, neck vessels, or kidneys). Family history of blockages also plays a role. Decreased foot pulses may be detected on physical exam. This is usually followed by a test called an ABI. This is a simple and non-invasive outpatient test that evaluates blood flow to the legs. Ultrasound may also be used.

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