Peripheral Vascular Disease

PVD and Heart Disease

Treating Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) can help you enjoy a more active lifestyle.
Treating Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) can help you enjoy a more active lifestyle.

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), also known as peripheral arterial disease, occurs when the blood supply to the arms, legs or internal organs, not including the heart and brain, is restricted due to hardened and narrowed arteries and veins. This process, known as atherosclerosis, is a result of the gradual buildup of plaque in blood vessels.

PVD is similar to coronary artery disease, in which blood supply to your heart is restricted by hardened arteries, which can lead to a heart attack. Similarly, if plaque buildup occurs in the carotid artery (a large artery in the neck), it can be a major contributor to a stroke.

People who smoke or have diabetes have a high risk of developing PVD. Those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol are also at risk.

More information on this topic is available through our online health encyclopedia.