What puts you at risk for Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.)?
SmokingIndividuals who smoke or have a history of smoking could potentially have a 4x greater risk of Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.).
You may know that smoking is a major cause of heart disease, cancer and lung disease. Smoking is also the number one cause of P.A.D. Studies show that smoking even half a pack of cigarettes per day may increase the risk of having P.A.D. by 30 to 50 percent.
With every puff, smoking harms your blood vessels. It speeds up the buildup of plaque in the artery walls and increases the formation of leg artery blockages. Smoking constricts blood vessels and causes the blood to clot.
As a result, smoking causes P.A.D. to get worse faster. It increases the chance of having leg pain (or claudication) even while at rest, losing a foot or a leg due to amputation, or having a heart attack or stroke. As many as one out of two people with P.A.D. who continue to smoke will have a heart attack or stroke or die within 5 years.