Sometimes. Athersclerosis is a systemic disease. This means it can affect any and all arteries. Having evidence of atherosclerosis in any arterial bed increase the risk of having it in others. However, it is not uncommon to find atherosclerosis affecting only certain arteries (legs) and not others (carotids). Why this occurs is not fully understood. If you have pad, you have 2x the risk of stroke or mi.