Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common but under-recognized problem affecting older patients. Intermittent claudication is the most frequent symptom of PAD, although the diagnosis of PAD is often overlooked until the patient presents with limb-threatening ischemia. Importantly, PAD is a marker for generalized atherosclerosis and is closely associated with coronary and cerebrovascular disease. The severity of PAD has been correlated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular death. The recognition and diagnosis of PAD, combined with its appropriate medical management, may well reduce the overall risk of cardiovascular morbidity. When diagnosed early, both exercise and pharmacotherapy can ameliorate symptoms of claudication, augment functional performance, and improve quality of life.