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Diabetes and the effects of smoking: By Zainab Al-Obosi, MD
May 18, 2015

Are you smoker and diabetic? Are you a parent?  Did you know that three most common causes of peripheral arterial disease are high cholesterol, smoking and diabetes?

 

What is peripheral arterial disease?

 

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a problem with blood flow in the arteries, especially those in the legs. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the muscles and organs throughout your body. When you have diseased arteries, they become narrow or blocked.

 

Who is at risk of getting PAD or claudication (leg pain during walking)?

 

Risk factors for PAD and claudication include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking and older age. Claudication is also more likely in people who already have atherosclerosis in other arteries, such as the arteries in the heart or brain.

 

Why should you quit?

 

While smoking cessation can be difficult, the effects of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure can lead to long-term health problems for the smoker as well as children in the same household.

 

How is smoking harmful?

 

Studies show secondhand smoke increases the chance of children having the following health problems:

 

·         Coughing, coughing up mucus, or wheezing (noisy breathing)

·         Lung infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia

·         Asthma

·         The lungs not growing normally during childhood

·         Ear infections

·         Hearing loss (later in childhood)

 

 

As adults, children who grew up with secondhand smoke are more likely to get:

 

·         Asthma

·         Lung cancer

·         Other types of cancers

·         Heart disease

 

Also, children who grow up with parents who smoke are more likely to start smoking themselves.

 

Remember, even if you are diabetic and able to control your blood sugar, smoking adds other health risks.  Madison Health Primary Care physicians and practitioners are available for further information regarding helpful tools to quit smoking.

 

Dr. Zainab Al-Obosi is a family physician at Madison Health Primary Care of London.  To make an appointment, please call 740-845-7500. The practice is currently accepting new patients, including adults and children.

 

 

References

 

1. Norgren L, Hiatt WR, Dormandy JA, et al.; TASC II; Working Group. Inter-society consensus for the management of peripheral arterial disease. J Vasc Surg. 2007;45(suppl S):S5–S67.

 

2. Hirsch AT, Criqui MH, Treat-Jacobson D, et al. Peripheral arterial disease detection, awareness, and treatment in primary care. JAMA. 2001;286(11):1317–1324.

 

3. Pasternak RC, Criqui MH, Benjamin EJ, et al.; American Heart Association. Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease Conference: Writing Group I: epidemiology. Circulation. 2004;109(21):2605–2612.

 

4. Hirsch AT, Haskal ZJ, Hertzer NR, et al.; American Association for Vascular Surgery, Society for Vascular Surgery, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, et al. ACC/AHA 2005 guidelines for the management of patients with peripheral arterial disease (lower extremity, renal, mesenteric, and abdominal aortic): executive summary. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006;47(6):1239–1312.

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