Doctors Not Pushing Smokers With Artery Disease To Quit: Study
Smokers with narrowed blood vessels in their legs would do well to quit smoking, but many doctors may not be giving them enough support to do it, a recent study suggests.
Research study conducted by Dr Krishna Patel of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, in which researchers examined data on 1,272 patients in Australia, the Netherlands and the US with new or worsening PAD symptoms in their legs and ankles.
Overall, one third of patients were current smokers, but fewer than one in five were referred to smoking cessation counseling and just one in 10 were prescribed a medication to help them quit.
"Patients with PAD need to be more aware of the long-term risks of smoking associated with their disease because it not only leads to worsening of their disease, but also increases their risk of losing limbs from the disease and having heart attacks and strokes," said lead study author Dr. Krishna Patel.
"Treatments for PAD such as stents and bypass surgeries often fail if patients continue to smoke," Patel said by email. "Quitting smoking is difficult, but doing so will help halt the progression of their PAD disease and may even reverse some of these risks."