In a new study, researchers at Johns Hopkins University find obesity may increase the chance of developing peripheral artery disease.
It is known that people with obesity are known to be at increased risk for coronary heart disease, the most common type of heart disease.
Coronary artery disease develops when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become stiff and narrow.
Peripheral artery disease mainly affects the arteries that supply blood to the arms, legs or feet and often leads to pain or cramping in the legs or hips while walking or climbing stairs.
Researchers estimate at least 6.8 million Americans ages 40 and older have peripheral artery disease.
If left untreated, this condition can advance to critical limb ischemia, a severe blockage in the arteries that, in some cases, can only be treated by amputating the affected limb.
Previous studies have found that smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol increase a person’s risk of developing peripheral artery disease.
But the role that obesity plays in the disease has been unclear.
In the new study, the researchers analyzed data on nearly 14,000 black and white men and women.
They found that people who were obese were 1.5 times more likely to develop peripheral artery disease with critical limb ischemia than those who were normal weight.
With increasing obesity, people have an increased risk of both diseases, which means an increased risk of limb loss.
It is important for doctors to advise patients with peripheral artery disease who are obese to lose weight. But losing weight can be particularly hard for people with the health condition.
This is because when people get obese and develop peripheral artery disease, they have trouble walking, which makes it harder to lose weight because they’re not active.
Many patients with the advanced peripheral artery disease have to wait for surgery to have a limb amputated to survive.
Currently, peripheral artery disease is an epidemic among African-Americans, veterans, and people without health care.
Dr. Caitlin Hicks is the study’s lead author.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Copyright © 2018 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.
Source: Journal of the American Heart Association.