(HealthDay News) -- Peripheral artery disease (PAD) occurs when thick plaque accumulates in the arteries (most often in the legs) and restricts blood flow to the heart, brain, other organs and limbs.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute mentions these risk factors for PAD:

  • Being a smoker.
  • Being older.
  • Having diabetes or a common precursor, metabolic syndrome.
  • Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  • Having coronary heart disease.
  • Having a family history of stroke.