What is PVD – Peripheral Vascular Disease?

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PVD refers to both the arterial and venous circulation.

Peripheral Vascular Disease: Not Always Just An Artery Issue

When the term peripheral vascular disease (PVD) comes up; it is a common misconception that this refers to just arterial disease. PVD refers to both the arterial and venous circulation. Arteries in the legs carry blood from the heart to the toes (periphery), and veins carry the blood from the toes back to the heart. While peripheral artery disease is common, a surprising fact for most people is that chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is ten times more prevalent than arterial disease.

An estimated 17% of men and 40% of women in the United States suffer from at least one or more symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency which totals over 30 million Americans affected by CVI. In 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that the impact of chronic venous insufficiency represented 1-2% of the total healthcare costs in the United States. So, although peripheral artery disease is a component of peripheral vascular disease, chronic venous insufficiency can be equally, if not more troublesome.