As indicated by an internationally published study conducted in the Arabian Gulf ( Kuwait, UAE and Qatar.), 13.5 per cent of the population. in UAE (study covered people above the age of 18 across 64 health centres) found to have PVD.

Peripheral Vascular disease results in poor blood circulation in arteries and veins, causing impairment in their condition which is a serious problem for the patient.

Arteries anywhere in our body can get blocked by build-up of plaque, though blocked arteries in the heart are the most commonly understood phenomenon.

When the blood flow in arteries are interrupted, it can lead to poor circulation and to a possibility of abdominal aneurysms (excessive localised swelling in the wall of artery) that have a high risk of causing stroke and Peripheral Artery disease (PAD), that blocks the main arteries that transport oxygenated blood to the legs.

Poor blood flow in the veins causes varicose veins and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), In some cases it can lead to gangrene and limb amputation.

In the UAE, which has a high rate of diabetes, obesity and a sizable smoking population, PAD is a cause of worry.

Who is at risk?

1. Diabetics
2. People beyond the age of 55-60
3. Males are more prone than females
4. Hypertensive patients
5. Diabetics who lose nerve function and in many cases are unaware of pain or poor circulation in their limbs
6. Smokers
7. People with high cholesterol
8. Obese individuals
9. People with family history of vascular problems


1. Pain in the legs
2. Difficulty in walking
3. Resting pain in the foot at night
4. Non-healing sores or infections in foot and toes

Diagnosis and treatment

A simple non-invasive Doppler test in a vascular laboratory at a hospital can help measure the transcutaneous oxygen levels in the limbs, ankles and toes.

Case study

Bob (not his real name), 60, based in Oman, with a history of 10 years of diabetes and smoking, almost lost his right foot to amputation. Initially, he had no symptoms of PAD. “My job required me to be posted in remote locations and poor diet and lack of exercise exacerbated my condition. It began with a deep foot pain and visits to a hospital did not provide me with any relief. Finally, after a couple of months, I was unable to walk and my toe nail turned red and inflamed. [I visited] Dr Kumar [who] conducted the test that determined that gangrene had set in. He put me on antibiotics to arrest the infection, conducted an angioplasty that restored circulation in my limbs. Had I delayed seeing him by even a week, I would have had to get either my toes or right limb amputated. I am still on antibiotics and the doctor has assured he will save me from any kind of amputation,” said Bob, who is as of now still having to use a wheelchair.