Here’s another way to take care of your health if you’re over 50. Cardiologists say everyone in this age group should be routinely tested for a narrowing of blood vessels to the legs that could put them at elevated risk for a heart attack or stroke.
The condition is known as peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, and it can be dangerous.
Signs of PAD may include leg pain during exercise and walking; a feeling of coldness or numbness in one or both legs; pain in the toes at night; or open sores that won’t heal.
Doctors say half the people with this condition will have these symptoms but the other half won’t. In a study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Edmonton, researchers found that about 5 % of randomly tested patients had PAD.
Treatment is similar what you’d do to prevent a heart attack or stroke – eat a well-balanced, low-fat diet, get regular exercise, don’t smoke. You may also need to take medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.