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Types of Vascular Disease

What Are the Most Common Types of Vascular Disease?

There are many different kinds of diseases which can affect your vascular system. No matter which type of vascular disease you may be dealing with, Banner Health is here to support you in your journey to healthy living. 


Commonly referred to as the hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis can lead to other complications and artery disease types such as peripheral artery disease, carotid artery disease, coronary artery disease or aneurysms.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Also called peripheral vascular disease, this disease is identified by the progressive thickening of an artery’s lining caused by a buildup of plaque. This causes a reduction in the blood flow to areas of the body such as the legs, stomach, kidneys, and neck. Historically it was believed that peripheral artery disease is a condition that affects men more than women, but recent studies indicate that post-menopausal women have the same risk as men.

Learn more about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of PAD.

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Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid artery disease, or carotid stenosis, is a narrowing of the carotid arteries, which are the major arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain. Carotid stenosis is usually caused by the build-up of plaque, which is a mixture of cholesterol, fat, and other substances, on the inner walls of the carotid arteries. Plaque can build up over time and cause the arteries to narrow, which can reduce or block the flow of blood to the brain.

Symptoms of carotid artery disease can vary, depending on the severity of the narrowing and the amount of blood flow that is affected. Some people with carotid stenosis may have no symptoms at all, while others may experience symptoms such as weakness, numbness, or difficulty speaking or thinking. Carotid stenosis can also increase the risk of stroke, which is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted.

Pulmonary Embolism

A blockage of one of the main arteries in your lungs, often caused by deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot). The most common symptoms of a pulmonary embolism are sudden shortness of breath or sharp chest pain when you breathe deep. 

Collagen Vascular Disease

A group of autoimmune disorders that includes lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and others. These diseases are more common in women than in men. Symptoms of collagen vascular disease will vary but general symptoms include muscle weakness, body aches or joint pain, fatigue, and skin rash.

Cerebrovascular Disease

A group of conditions or disorders that affect the blood vessels and blood flow to the brain, including ischemic stroke (the most common type of stroke), transient ischemic attack (TIA) and aneurysms. Symptoms of cerebrovascular disease will vary but commonly include headache, weakness or paralysis of one side, confusion, slurred speech, and loss of vision.

Each of these types of vascular diseases has its own unique set of symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options. If you have questions about the signs or symptoms of vascular disease, treatments, or ways to prevent vascular disease, schedule an appointment with one of the specialists at Banner Health.