How Exercise Can Help in Peripheral Artery Disease

IT’S SOMETIMES CALLED “window-shopper’s disease.” As walking brings on leg cramps and pain, people with peripheral artery disease must frequently stop for breaks. When they rest, pain subsides. When they resume walking, PAD pain kicks back in.

PAD is common among older adults. About one in every 20 Americans over age 50 has PAD, with up to 12 million people affected overall, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

People may mistakenly believe painful walking is part of normal aging. However, PAD is linked to higher risks of cardiovascular complications such as heart attacks or strokes. PAD shouldn’t be suffered stoically or in silence. If you have symptoms, you need a medical evaluation.

Full story at US News

Peripheral artery disease: Home-based walking program eases clogged leg arteries

A home-based exercise program helped people with clogged leg arteries walk farther and faster, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The program was beneficial even 12 months after participants started the program.

Previously, studies have shown that supervised exercise can improve walking and lessen the symptoms of peripheral artery disease (PAD), but this is the first to document the long-term benefits of a home-based walking program.

“The problem with supervised exercise is that it takes many visits to a cardiac rehabilitation center or other exercise facility, and it is not covered by Medicare,” said Mary McGrae McDermott, M.D., lead author and the Jeremiah Stamler professor of medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “Our results should encourage physicians to recommend walking even if their patients do not have access to a supervised-exercise program.”

Full story of peripheral artery disease at Science Daily