Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Smoking Raises Peripheral Artery Disease Risk 10-Fold In Women

Most people would not take a drug ordered by a physician that would result in a 10-fold risk of disease.  Yet millions continue to start smoking at a young age and refuse to listen to such warnings.  It shows the strong addictive and I dare say, delusional nature tobacco has on the brain. 
I was once one of those who was in denial that I was addicted and adopted the usual mantra "I can quit anytime I want to....I just don't want to."  No matter what the addiction the brain is controlled by false reasoning and that makes breaking the cycle extremely difficult.  So it doesn't really matter how dire the risk because that in itself will not convince any addict to quit.  Statistically the best and most successful method of quitting smoking still remains going 'cold turkey'.  Give yourself some time and pick a date about two weeks ahead, the day that will be the first day of the rest of whatever life you have left....... it takes 5 years for your lungs to heal themselves compared to lungs of someone who has never smoked.  So now would be a good time to plan your future. 

Smoking raises a females risk of developing PAD (peripheral artery disease) 10-fold, researchers from Harvard Medical School revealed in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine. They added that even short-term smoking appears to elevate the risk significantly for women.

Peripheral artery diseases, also known as PAD, is a type of peripheral vascular disease in which an artery is either partially or totally blocked, often one leading to a limb. It is not the same as leg artery disease (usually due to atherosclerosis) or arm artery disease (usually due to repetitive motion, autoimmune disease, radiation therapy, Raynaud's disease, a blood clot, radiation therapy, and trauma). PAD is a serious and debilitating disease.

PAD signs and symptoms include painful legs with normal activity, as well as tiredness in the leg muscles.

Eruna Pradhan, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and team carried out a study involving 38,825 women aged at least 45 years for an average of 12.7 years. They wanted to see whether smoking raised PAD risk, and also whether giving up smoking might reduce the risk, and by how much.<BR.
They questioned the participants regarding their smoking status and history, including how many cigarettes were smoked each day. During the 12.7 years updating questionnaires were filled in every year, which also included details on PAD symptoms.

They found that smoking is definitely a major risk factor for symptomatic peripheral artery disease. Regular smoking appears to raise a woman's risk of developing PAD tenfold, compared to lifetime non-smoking females.

Although giving up smoking definitely brings down the risk of developing PAD considerably, it was found never to reach the same low level risk of lifetime non-smoking women.

Eruna Pradhan said:

"This study showed that-as has been previously shown for heart attacks and for lung cancer-that smoking is actually very harmful for the development PAD. This is significant because PAD is a disease that not only causes a lot of pain and discomfort with usual, daily activities but it also increases the risk of heart attack."

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