SEVEN SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH AND ENHANCE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE
EAT BETTER GET ACTIVE LOSE WEIGHT QUIT SMOKING REDUCE
moking and tobacco use increase risk of
cardiovascular problems, and this is equally true
of peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD is the
result of atherosclerosis in the peripheral arteries
to the legs, stomach, arms and head — most
commonly in the arteries of the legs. PAD is a serious medical
condition affecting 8. 5 million Americans by age 40 and over
200 million people worldwide.
Tobacco use is a strong risk factor for developing PAD
and for worsening of the disease. Some studies suggest
that quitting smoking is associated with lower rates of
some symptoms, serious complications and death in
patients with PAD.
Patients with PAD who smoke or use other forms of
tobacco should quit. They should also avoid
secondhand smoke. To help patients quit,
healthcare providers are encouraged to
help develop a quit plan that includes drug
therapy, smoking cessation programs, or
both. In a large random controlled trial, a
combination of both increased the rate of
quitting to about 21 percent compared to
less than 7 percent with the standard advice
to quit smoking.
Recent guidelines identified three
types of drug therapy that are effective
— varenicline, buproprion and nicotine
replacement. Investigators found that all
three independently or in combination were
effective. And the really good news is that
none of these medicines increased rates of
cardiovascular events in PAD patients. There
is sparse evidence that electronic cigarettes are helpful in
getting smokers to quit.
As for passive smoking, there is some evidence that PAD
increases in those exposed to secondhand smoke. There has
been little to no investigation of whether avoiding secondhand
smoke improves outcomes for those who already have PAD.
Whether you have PAD or not, quitting smoking is one
of the best things you can do for your health. If you have
PAD and smoke, talk with your doctor about the best
cessation methods for you. Elizabeth Beard, a former
caregiver to family members with cardiovascular disease
and a survivor of a bi-femoral aortic bypass for Severe
PAD, shares her challenges with quitting on the AHA
Support Network Blog.
Quitting smoking is a gift to yourself and those you love.
Here are some tips.
Smoking and Peripheral
Artery Disease (PAD)