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Smaller Calf Muscles Blamed

Peripheral Artery Disease Is Harder on Women

Due to smaller calf muscles, women with peripheral artery disease (PAD) experience problems walking sooner than men with the disease, suggest researchers from Northwestern University. "After four years, women with PAD were more likely to become unable to walk for six minutes continuously and more likely to develop a mobility disability compared to men with the disease," says lead author Mary McDermott, M.D. Research findings, published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, reveal that men in the study had a greater loss of calf muscle each year than the women. Yet, the greater lower extremity muscle reserve in men may have protected them from the rapid functional decline experienced by women.

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