One of every six women who live past the age of 65 will develop PAD. Your risk of developing PAD depends on characteristics and conditions you have that increase your PAD risk, called risk factors.
The conditions below all make a woman more likely to develop PAD, and you can minimize your risk by getting them under control with lifestyle changes and medication. How to know if you have it, and how it affects your risk of PAD.
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Obesity and overweight
- High levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the blood
- High levels of homocysteine, a protein component in the blood
- Other heart conditions
You cannot change some of your risk factors for PAD. Even though you cannot change them, knowing you are at risk can motivate you to address the risk factors you can change. Risk factors for PAD that you have no control over include:
- Your age – PAD becomes more common as you get older, especially after age 50
- Your menopausal status – PAD is more common in women who have gone through menopause
- Your race – PAD is more common in certain races, especially African-Americans
- Your family history – women who have a parent, sibling, or child with PAD are more likely to develop it
Recognizing which conditions are putting you at risk for PAD is the first step towards preventing PAD. Preventing PAD: The Basics for tips on working with your doctor to get your risk factors under control and reduce your risk of developing PAD.