Monday December 16, 2019

Smokers Beware! Smoking can Trigger Severe Leg and Hand Pain, Poor Wound Healing

The study found that compared with never-smokers, those who smoked for more than 40 pack-years had roughly four times more risk

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Smoking, Leg, Hand
"The study suggests that campaigns about smoking's health risks should emphasize the elevated risk of peripheral artery disease, not just coronary heart disease and stroke," said senior study author Kunihiro Matsushita. Pixabay

Researchers have found a strong link between smoking and peripheral artery disease — a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs — and this elevated risk can persist up to 30 years after quitting smoking.

The study, led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, also found that the link between smoking and peripheral artery disease was even stronger than that for coronary heart disease and stroke.

“The study suggests that campaigns about smoking’s health risks should emphasize the elevated risk of peripheral artery disease, not just coronary heart disease and stroke,” said senior study author Kunihiro Matsushita.

The study found that compared with never-smokers, those who smoked for more than 40 pack-years had roughly four times more risk for peripheral artery disease, versus 2.1 times and 1.8 times more risk for coronary heart disease and stroke, respectively.

Smoking, Leg, Hand
Researchers have found a strong link between smoking and peripheral artery disease — a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs. Pixabay

A pack-year is a parameter of smoking — 10 pack-years can mean one pack per day for 10 years or two packs per day for five years or some other combination.

Similarly, participants who reported currently smoking more than a pack per day had a relative increased risk — 5.4 times more for peripheral artery disease versus 2.4 for coronary heart disease and 1.9 for stroke — compared to those who had never smoked.

Peripheral artery disease features the atherosclerotic build-up of cholesterol-laden deposits in arteries serving the legs. The reduction of blood flow leads to limb pain, poor wound healing, and other signs and symptoms.

The effect of smoking on peripheral artery disease risk was not just stronger; it was also longer-lasting.

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Only after 30 years of smoking cessation did the peripheral artery disease risk for former smokers return to the baseline level seen in never-smokers.

By comparison, coronary heart disease risk took about 20 years to return to baseline after smoking cessation.

The good news is that quitting smoking appeared to bring a meaningful drop in peripheral artery disease risk fairly quickly.

“We observed a lower risk for peripheral artery disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke within five years of smoking cessation,” says Ning Ding, a data analyst and author of the study.

Smoking, Leg, Hand
The study, led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, also found that the link between smoking and peripheral artery disease was even stronger than that for coronary heart disease. Pixabay

“Smoking almost always starts in adolescence or early adulthood, and it’s very important that young people understand how long the elevated health risk persists even after they’ve quit,” Matsushita noted.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, is the first comprehensive comparison, in a large population moving through time, of the smoking-elevated risks of peripheral artery disease, coronary heart disease and stroke.

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The analysis was based on a sample of 13,355 Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) cohort participants, including 3,323 current smokers and 4,185 former smokers, who were tracked for a median period of 26 years. (IANS)

Next Story

Smoking and Stress Lead to Greying of Hair: Experts

Stress, smoking cause early greying of hair

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Stress
Too much of stress can increase ageing. Pixabay

With your first grey strand comes ageing, but it could also be a sign of too much stress, say experts.

“Premature greying can be a sign of excessive stress as it is one of the significant causes; under pressure, one constricts the blood vessels hampering the healthy flow of nutrients to the scalp resulting in hair fall and greying.

“Stress also reduces oxygen supply to the scalp as breathing, and is also one of the major causes of aging and premature greying, dull, and scanty hair,” Rajni Ohri, Founder, Ohria Ayurveda said.

Although ageing is natural, and should be accepted with grace, one cannot control the process of ageing and worrying about it will only further stress.

Mohit Narang, Skincare expert, AVON says that greying of hair can also happen due to smoking. “People who smoke regularly have higher chances of premature greying, as can a lack of nutrition. A diet deficient in vitamins and minerals can lead to early greying.”

Smoking stress
Along with stress, smoking can also cause greying of hair strands. Lifetime Stock

How to tackle the menace of premature greying of hair?

Ayurvedic hair oils are beneficial for slowing greying. If used regularly they delay greying even in old age. Ingredients that assist keeping the hair pigment intact are amla, onion seeds, bhringraj, henna, sesame, curry leaves.

Dried amla can be used to fight premature greying. Cut them into pieces and dry them in the sun; once dry, roast it in the pan and then mix with coconut oil. Apply the mixture on your hair overnight.

Apart from repairing natural hair color, onion juice also helps treat hair loss and thinning. For best results, mix onion juice with lemon juice. Apply the mixture evenly on the scalp and hair. Leave it on for 15- 25 minutes and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Make this your routine for at least two weeks.

Curry leaves darken your hair by restoring the natural melanin pigment so that hair becomes dark again. The leaves also help in preventing and treating as curry leaves are rich in Vitamin B and minerals like iodine, zinc and iron.

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Consume a nutritional diet rich in Vitamins B12, B9, Iron, Folic acid. Include amla, beetroot, green leafy vegetables and nuts like soaked almonds, anjeer, walnuts, and soaked sesame seeds.

Practice yoga for healthy blood flow to the scalp. Practice ‘Pranayam’ to keep the mind calm and relaxed.

Quit smoking, or at least reduce the instances of smoking. (IANS)