More than 3 million Americans, generally over the age of 50, suffer from peripheral arterial disease, a circulatory condition marked by an ache, pain or cramping in the legs, calves and lower torso.

Dr. Charles Kilo, chairman of a National Council on the Aging committee researching the disorder, says that since the pain occurs while walking and abates after rest, it is seldom discussed with a personal physician. However, he warns that left untreated it can lead to more serious complications.A key to fighting the disorder is early detection and treatment that includes exercise, proper diet, managing other medical problems and taking medication to improve circulation.