Peripheral artery disease cannot be prevented in all cases. To help prevent the condition, avoid smoking, maintain a healthy weight, and exercise regularly. Patients who have diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), or high cholesterol (hypercholesteremia), and people with a family history of these conditions should follow the recommendations of a qualified health care provider.
In most cases, the prognosis (expected outcome) for patients who have peripheral artery disease is good. The condition often can be controlled with treatment, including lifestyle modifications, regular exercise, medications, and in severe cases, surgery.
Patients who have uncontrolled risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, are at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and gangrene (tissue death and decay that often requires amputation).
Current PAD Research
New treatments for peripheral artery disease, including gene therapy and stem cell therapy, are currently being studied in clinical trials. These therapies involve injecting genes or stem cells into cells to correct a genetic defect.
Other studies are being conducted to evaluate the effects of supervised, progressive strength training programs, unsupervised exercise programs, and nutrition in patients who have PAD.