In a startling new analysis published in the British medical journal The Lancet, researchers found that the number of people suffering from peripheral artery disease (PAD) — a condition that can lead to heart attack or stroke — has risen by 24 percent in the last decade. In 2000, 164 million people had the disease. That number has since risen to at least 202 million.
PAD occurs when plaque accumulates in arteries that carry blood to the limbs. The condition restricts blood flow and oxygen to the legs and feet and can severely limit mobility.
“It is a very serious condition because people affected have a very high risk of having a heart attack or stroke,” said Dr. Gerry Fowkes, a professor at the University of Edinburgh and lead author of the study, in a press release. “The quality of life of some PAD patients can be quite poor because they often have great difficulty in walking. This can be catastrophic in poor countries where access to transport is very limited.”
The researchers attribute the dramatic rise in the disease to longer life expectancy and changing lifestyles. Many of the risk factors for PAD, including smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are preventable and treatable. According the American Heart Association, PAD sufferers can improve their condition by engaging in regular exercise, eating foods low in trans fats and following any lifestyle changes recommended by a physician.
By reducing your risk for PAD, you may also make yourself eligible for more affordable rates for life insurance policies. Engaging in a healthy lifestyle enables you to purchase coverage at a lower cost. Learn more by exploring our website and accessing our term life insurance quotes online.