Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a narrowing of the blood vessels leading to a reduction of blood flow to the limbs, more commonly to the legs. It is caused by a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. African-Americans are at a higher risk for PAD due to higher rates of diabetes and obesity.
The Jackson Heart Study, led my Donald Clark, III, M.D., at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, examined the relationship between smoking and PAD in African-Americans. The study revealed that “participants who smoked more than a pack a day had a significantly higher risk for PAD, than those who smoked fewer than 19 cigarettes daily.” The study maintained that those who never smoked at all had the best outcomes. However, the good news for anyone who still smokes, is that there are always benefits for smoking cessation at any time. Patients will begin to experience positive outcomes in as little as two to three days after they quit smoking.