Peripheral artery disease is underdiagnosed and treated in many cases, say US doctors. In peripheral artery disease (PAD), the arteries in the legs and arms become blocked with the same kind of fatty deposits - plaque - which cause coronary artery disease. The best way of treating it is very simple - keep walking. While the disease makes walking painful, regular exercise does actually increase the ability to walk with ease. Positive effects are seen within three months.
Unfortunately, say physicians at Johns Hopkins University in the US, too few patients with PAD are diagnosed and, even if they are, physicians are not prescribing the walking treatment. Somehow patients have to be convinced that even though walking is painful to start with, it's the best way of easing the pain and fatigue in their leg and arm muscles.