Health A-Z

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You can help to prevent peripheral arterial disease by modifying your risk factors:

  • Don't smoke. This a major risk factor that you can control.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity, especially a concentration of body fat around the waist, has been linked to unhealthy blood levels of cholesterol and other fats, which can build up inside your arteries.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Your diet should be loaded with vegetables and fruits, and it should be low in saturated fats.

  • Exercise regularly. Ideally, you should exercise 45 minutes or more every day.

  • Lower your blood pressure. Medications may be necessary if maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not enough.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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