Are over the age of 50. Smoke or used to smoke. Those who smoke or have a history of smoking have up to four times greater risk of PAD. Have diabetes. One in every three people over the age of 50 with diabetes is likely to have PAD. Have high blood pressure. Also called hypertension, high blood pressure raises the risk of developing plaque in the arteries. Have high cholesterol. Excess cholesterol and fat in your blood contribute to the formation of plaque in the arteries, reducing or blocking blood flow to your heart, brain or limbs. Have a personal history of vascular disease, heart attack or stroke. If you have heart disease, you have a one in three chance of also having PAD.