DR H.C.ROBINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR H.C.ROBINSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Peripheral arterial disease. View of an elderly woman's feet showing signs of peripheral arterial disease. The feet are swollen at the ankles, they may be cold and often numb, with the skin dry and scaly. Leg ulcers may develop after minor injury. Peripheral arterial disease is caused by narrowing of the blood vessels typically in the legs of elderly patients, which leads to restricted blood flow and pain at the affected site. In severe cases gangrene may occur. Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of this arterial disease, in which fatty plaques form on the inner walls of arteries. Tobacco-smoking is the greatest risk factor, although diabetes may be involved.
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