What Is Vascular Disease? Is It Different From Heart Disease?

Carotid artery disease, Peripheral Arterial Disease and Aortic Aneurysms are the three most dangerous – non cardiac – vascular diseases that affects millions of Americans.  These three are certainly the ones that produce most of the deaths and/or long term disabilities. 

Carotid artery disease affects the main arteries to the brain.  These arteries can develop a buildup of plaque, also known as hardening of the arteries.  When the buildup becomes severe, the patient may suffer from a stroke which can result in permanent damage of the brain and can also be fatal.  However with screening, this disease can be diagnosed and treated, thus reducing the number of patients who will suffer lifelong disabilities or death.

PAD or peripheral arterial disease is a blockage that can occur in both upper and lower extremities.  This is usually caused from atherosclerosis.  Atherosclerosis is a hardening and narrowing of the arteries which can lead to debilitating problems and even amputation of the extremities.  Patients with PAD are about 3 times more likely to develop heart disease or other vascular disease.

Aortic aneurysm is a result of thinning of the aortic vessel wall which creates a bulge in the body’s main artery. Over time, this budge becomes overstretched and weakens the wall.  If left untreated the aneurysm will grow larger and eventually rupture, which is usually fatal.  Most aneurysm go undetected until they rupture.

UT Physicians offers a complimentary test that checks these three main areas where vascular disease can occur.  Risk factors for vascular disease include:

• Over 40 with diabetes

• Over 50 with certain risk factors including:

   – High blood pressure

   – High cholesterol

   – Family history of vascular disease include stroke or heart attack

• Over 60

To schedule your free vascular screening at our Katy office, please contact:

713-486-DARE (3273).

 is a Vascular Surgeon at UT Physicians Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery – Katy. To schedule an appointment for concerns related to vascular disease, call:  713-486-VEIN (8346).