By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It is estimated that 8 to 12 million people in the United States have peripheral artery disease. Yet most people are not even certain of what peripheral artery disease is.

Basically, peripheral artery disease is atherosclerosis or clogging of the blood vessels leading to narrowing of the major arteries in the lower extremity.

Many people with peripheral artery disease develop claudication. They find that when they walk, they start to get severe leg pain that gets worse as people walk and goes away with rest like sitting down. People at greatest risk for peripheral artery disease are smokers, people with diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney problems.