Harvard Heart Letter

Central treatment for peripheral artery disease

Heart care is important for people with narrowed leg arteries.

If you have peripheral artery disease, keep this in mind: The leg bone's connected to the heart bone.

Okay, so there's no such thing as the heart bone. But the message of the folk song "Dem Bones" — that all parts of the body are connected — definitely applies to peripheral artery disease. This catchall condition includes potentially disabling pain that occurs with walking or exercise (claudication), as well as circulation problems in the kidneys, intestines, aorta, and other parts of the body below the heart. Most cases stem from the same atherosclerosis that gives rise to heart disease.

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