You’ve likely heard it many times: Smoking is bad for your health. But if you have peripheral artery disease (PAD), smoking cigarettes could have a stronger effect on your health than you realize.

Smoking is a significant risk factor for PAD.37 The lives of patients with PAD who also have cardiovascular problems could be at greater risk.28

People who smoke are also at risk for developing plaque in their arteries (atherosclerosis)19 – a leading cause of PAD, heart attack and stroke.21 PAD results from narrowed arteries in the legs, limiting blood flow to the legs and feet. PAD can lead to a range of symptoms including aches, numbness and burning sensations in your legs and/or feet.

Without early detection and treatment, PAD can advance.  The worst form of PAD is, critical limb ischemia (CLI). People with CLI commonly have pain while walking. They may have open wounds on their feet or legs that won’t heal. Many people with CLI are at significant risk for amputation if they don’t seek treatment. Things can even get worse from there – CLI has been linked to putting a person’s life at risk.4

Smoking and Aging are risk factors

Plus, aging plays a role in raising a smoker’s risk of PAD. The older a smoker is, the higher the risk for PAD.13

There is good news: There are treatment options for PAD. If you are a smoker, talk to your health care professional about your risk level for PAD. You can talk about options to help you stop smoking. If the doctor does diagnose PAD, you can discuss treatment options.

Don’t delay – talk to your doctor now. Use our Find a Doctor tool to locate a PAD specialist near you who is experienced using Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., devices to treat PAD.