Study Confirms Smoking is Strongly Linked to PAD

At Lam Vascular & Associates, we work with many people who are living with (and suffering from) Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). At our dedicated Limb Salvage Center in Dallas, our amazing team of vascular specialists works hard every day to help people manage their condition, walk without pain, keep their limbs and be able to enjoy their lives how they want.

PAD is a serious condition and many people who come to us for a second opinion have been misdiagnosed or don’t even know they have it. But great news! Dr. Russell Lam and his team have a solid and proven history of saving limbs. Even in cases where another doctor has suggested amputation as the only treatment option, looking for a second opinion can often make a world of difference.

What Puts Me at Risk for PAD?

Regardless of if you’re showing symptoms or not, if a number of these risk factors apply to you, it’s important to begin considering your likelihood of developing PAD.

The biggest risk factors include:

  • 50 years old or older
  • Current or past smoker
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Personal history of heart attack or stroke
  • Family history of heart disease or PAD
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney disease

Did you see that second risk factor? It’s a big one. Let’s talk about it.

Study Quantifies Smoking’s Strong Link to PAD

Smoking is bad for your health, and if you’re a smoker you’ve likely heard it from everyone. Nothing new there. But a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health gives people who smoke even more reason to consider kicking the habit for good.

The study found that smoking cigarettes boosts the risk of developing PAD, and this elevated risk can persist up to 30 years after smoking cessation. Thirty years! The study also showed the link between smoking and PAD was even stronger than it is for coronary heart disease and stroke.

Specifically, participants who reported currently smoking more than a pack per day had a relative increased risk; 5.4 times more for PAD versus 2.4 for coronary heart disease and 1.9 for stroke when compared to those who had never smoked.
The study, published July 22 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, is the first comprehensive comparison, in a large population moving through time, of the smoking-elevated risks of peripheral artery disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke.
It’s especially important to be aware of when several or even some of the risk factors overlap. For example, 1 in 7 people over the age of 70 have PAD, but a smoker who is over 60 is likely going to have about that same risk.

But, it’s not all bad news. The positive takeaway from the analysis is that quitting smoking appeared to bring a meaningful drop in PAD risk fairly quickly. The study shows a lower risk for peripheral artery disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke within five years of smoking cessation. Smoking cessation for 5 to 9 years was linked to a much greater drop in peripheral artery disease risk; about 57 percent.

Lam Vascular, a Trusted Partner for Dealing with PAD

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 8.5 million people in the U.S. have peripheral artery disease, though most cases go undiagnosed and there is relatively little public awareness of the disorder. Lam Vascular & Associates aims to change all that. If you’re ready to take control of your health, we’re ready to help.

If you suspect you have PAD, the only effective route to recovery is seeking treatment with an expert. Dr. Russell Lam is highly praised within the medical community because of his ability to find solutions that work.

Schedule an initial appointment today if you need help better managing your PAD (or are experiencing any symptoms of PAD). Lam Vascular & Associates has convenient locations in Dallas and Rockwall, Texas.


The information contained in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history and are not guaranteed in any way.

The information contained in this website is neither intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate or best care for any given health issue, nor is it intended to be used as a substitute for the independent judgment of a physician for any given health issue. Patient results will vary based on risk factors, age, disease and medical history. Please seek physician's advice. Like any procedure, it may come with benefits, risks or side effects associated. Click here for additional information.

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