Causes of peripheral artery disease can come from several different factors but, the single biggest controllable cause, based on current research is smoking. Other factors that raise the risk significantly are high blood sugar from diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. The single best way to beat these factors is by changing your lifestyle. Exercise and walking are extremely important, and walking distance will improve with work. Obviously, smoking is non-negotiable. Also, eating from around the edge of the supermarket from the fresh foods and fish, and daily exercise, are the best ways to prevent PAD from forming before it becomes a problem.