Vascular disease is a term for a wide range of diseases that
affect the vascular, or blood vessel, systems of your body. This
means your arteries or veins may not be working as well as they
Vascular disease can affect important organs found in your body,
such as your:
Vascular disease can also affect your limbs (arms or legs). It
can cause poor circulation and skin ulcers (sores).
There are important ways you can work with your health care
provider to manage your vascular disease and continue to live a
When too much LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol builds up on your
artery walls, your circulation is reduced. This puts you at risk
for a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or other serious
Blood pressure is the amount of pressure within the walls of the
arteries. When this pressure is too high your heart has to work
harder. High blood pressure usually has no signs or
symptoms until you have a heart attack, stroke or other
Your goal is to keep your blood pressure lower than 130/80. Your
risk of problems from vascular disease goes down the more you can
safely lower your blood pressure. Talk to your health care provider
about the blood pressure goal that is safe for you.
Your health care provider will prescribe medicines to help
control your blood pressure, lower your LDL cholesterol and
prevent the risk of blood clots.
Medicines are a very important part of managing your vascular
disease and avoiding problems. You may need up to three medicines
to help keep your blood pressure at a safe level.
It is important to continue taking your medicine as directed. If
you miss a dose of medicine, take it as soon as you can, and then
get back to your regular dose schedule. If you don't realize you've
missed a dose until it's time for the next dose, do not take a
Call your health care provider if you are having any problems
taking your medicine. You and your provider can work together on a
plan that will help you be successful.
Tobacco use is the most preventable cause of death in the U.S.
Cigarette smokers are two to four times more likely to develop
heart disease than nonsmokers, and 10 times as likely to develop
peripheral artery disease (PAD).
To reduce problems with vascular disease, your health care
provider recommends that you stop using tobacco.
There are many treatment options to help you quit tobacco use.
Talk with your health care provider about the best one for you. You
can also check with your insurance provider about quitting programs
that may be available to you.
Making healthy lifestyle changes can also help you manage your
vascular disease and keep you healthy.
If your blood pressure is not lower than 130/80, you should see
your health care provider every month until you have reached your
When your blood pressure is lower than 130/80, you should see
your health care provider every six months. At this appointment,
your provider will talk with you about:
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Managing Your Vascular Disease, cvs-ahc-14099
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts