PAD (peripheral artery disease) is a condition which results in a decrease in blood flow or circulation in the arteries outside the brain or the heart. It is very similar to coronary artery or carotid artery disease. If fact, people with PAD often have known or unknown disease of the heart and/or the brain. This association may pose a higher risk of death from heart attack or stroke. As many as 8 to 12 million Americans have PAD, and 75% of those do not have symptoms or recognize the symptoms. Risk factors for PAD include: diabetes mellitus, elevated cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, smoking, age or 50, and family history of heart disease or stroke. Ask your doctor if this screening exam may be right for you, or report any symptoms of pain, numbness, tiredness, heaviness, or cramping in the hips or legs with activity that goes away with a period of rest.