You probably wouldn’t ignore pain in your chest. But would you dismiss discomfort in your legs? Many people don’t know that when it comes to the cardiovascular system, leg health is as important as heart health.
“A blockage in the leg can be as dangerous as a blockage in the heart,” says Brett Carroll, MD, Director of Vascular Medicine in the CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). Known as peripheral artery disease or PAD, this condition develops when the arteries that carry blood to the legs become blocked by plaque, the same sticky mix of fats and cholesterol that cause blocked coronary arteries in the heart.
“Left untreated, PAD is a leading cause of limb amputation and can increase a person’s risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack,” adds vascular surgeon Allen Hamdan, MD, Vice Chair of Surgery at BIDMC.
Don’t just stand around. Drs. Carroll and Hamdan recommend the following five tips to keep legs healthy.
Remember, healthy habits are good for your whole cardiovascular system – from head to toe.
For more information, visit bidmc.org.
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