Reap Health Benefits 48 Hours After Quitting Smoking

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – “Within 48 hours of quitting smoking, health benefits begin,” said Dr. Steven Leers, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery. “Blood pressure decreases. Pulse rate drops. The body temperature of hands and feet increases. Carbon monoxide levels in the blood return to normal. The chance of a heart attack decreases. Nerve endings regrow. There’s an increase in the ability to taste and smell.”
Dr. Leers is an advocate for not smoking. Research has linked smoking to cancer, vascular disease, stroke and lung disease.
“As a vascular surgeon, I’ve seen the damage done to veins and arteries from tobacco use,” said Dr. Leers. “Nicotine speeds up the heart and causes the body to release fat and cholesterol into the blood. All of these are related to vascular disease.”
In addition, smoking accelerates the hardening and narrowing of arteries. Smokers are two to four times more likely to develop blood clots.
Nearly 6 million people die every year from tobacco use according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Of these, more than 600,000 persons die from secondhand smoke.
In the U.S., the 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report “Tobacco Use: Targeting the Nation’s Leading Killer” indicates that smoking leads to 443,000 premature deaths annually from tobacco use or exposure to secondhand smoke. On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than non-smokers.
“Nicotine in cigarettes raises blood pressure and constricts arteries,” said Dr. Leers.
Narrowed arteries can result in:
* blood clots
* heart attacks (narrowed coronary artery)
* stroke (narrowed brain or neck artery)
* peripheral arterial disease (PAD) leading to gangrene and amputation (narrowed leg artery)
* erectile dysfunction for men in their 30s and 40s (narrowed artery to the penis).
“Smokers are more likely to develop aneurysms (ballooning of an artery due to a weakness in the blood vessel wall) than non-smokers,” said Dr. Leers. For information on smoking and vascular disease, log onto www.VascularWeb.org.

Tips for Independent Living After 70

(NewsUSA) – One out of every 20 Americans over age 50 is diagnosed with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). The worst part of this reality is that most people with PAD don’t experience any symptoms. PAD is dangerous, especially when there are no warning signs.Peripheral Arterial Disease is a progressive disease commonly called clogged arteries in the legs, poor circulation or a hardening of the arteries.People have PAD when the arteries in their legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits, or plaque. The buildup of plaque causes the arteries to harden and narrow, which is called atherosclerosis. This reduces blood flow to the legs and feet.The severity of the disease depends on how early it’s diagnosed as well as pre-existing health issues. PAD’s primary symptom is an intermittent cramping of leg muscles during walks or hikes. For some, the pain may feel more like numbness, weakness or heaviness. Whether or not you have symptoms, having PAD means that you’re at a higher risk for heart attack, stroke and even death.Many people don’t get tested for PAD because they have no symptoms and never feel a thing. The good news is that proper treatment saves lives. If you’re over 50, talk to your health care provider about getting tested for PAD.The test for PAD is called the "ABI" or ankle-brachial index. It’s a comparison of blood pressure measurements taken at the arms and ankles. It can also assess the severity of the disease.Despite the presence or lack of symptoms, individuals are their own first line of defense. When face time with actual doctors is limited, it’s helpful to have a list of prepared questions on hand.The Vascular Disease Foundation (VDF), a non-profit dedicated to public awareness and education regarding vascular health, has compiled some questions to ask doctors about PAD:* Does my medical history raise my risk for PAD?* What can I do to reduce my blood sugar level if it’s too high or if I have diabetes?* What do you recommend to quit smoking?For more information, or to get a free Heart and Sole kit, go to www.vdf.org or 1-866-PADINFO (1-866-723-4636).

Protect Your Heart Through Your Legs

One out of every 20 Americans over age 50 is diagnosed with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). The worst part of this reality is that most people with PAD don’t experience any symptoms. PAD is dangerous, especially when there are no warning signs.

Peripheral Arterial Disease is a progressive disease commonly called clogged arteries in the legs, poor circulation or a hardening of the arteries.

People have PAD when the arteries in their legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits, or plaque. The buildup of plaque causes the arteries to harden and narrow, which is called atherosclerosis. This reduces blood flow to the legs and feet. Its severity depends on how early the disease is diagnosed as well as pre-existing health issues.

Lighting Can Be Your Eyes’ Best Friend As You Age

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – One out of every 20 Americans over age 50 is diagnosed with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). The worst part of this reality is that most people with PAD don’t experience any symptoms. PAD is dangerous, especially when there are no warning signs.
Peripheral Arterial Disease is a progressive disease commonly called clogged arteries in the legs, poor circulation or a hardening of the arteries.
People have PAD when the arteries in their legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits, or plaque. The buildup of plaque causes the arteries to harden and narrow, which is called atherosclerosis. This reduces blood flow to the legs and feet.
The severity of the disease depends on how early it’s diagnosed as well as pre-existing health issues. PAD’s primary symptom is an intermittent cramping of leg muscles during walks or hikes. For some, the pain may feel more like numbness, weakness or heaviness. Whether or not you have symptoms, having PAD means that you’re at a higher risk for heart attack, stroke and even death.
Many people don’t get tested for PAD because they have no symptoms and never feel a thing. The good news is that proper treatment saves lives. If you’re over 50, talk to your health care provider about getting tested for PAD.
The test for PAD is called the “ABI” or ankle-brachial index. It’s a comparison of blood pressure measurements taken at the arms and ankles. It can also assess the severity of the disease.
Despite the presence or lack of symptoms, individuals are their own first line of defense. When face time with actual doctors is limited, it’s helpful to have a list of prepared questions on hand.
The Vascular Disease Foundation (VDF), a non-profit dedicated to public awareness and education regarding vascular health, has compiled some questions to ask doctors about PAD:
* Does my medical history raise my risk for PAD?
* What can I do to reduce my blood sugar level if it’s too high or if I have diabetes?
* What do you recommend to quit smoking?
For more information, or to get a free Heart and Sole kit, go to www.vdf.org or 1-866-PADINFO (1-866-723-4636).

Your Blood’s Amazing Trip Through Your Vascular System

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Your vascular system is made up of vessels that carry your blood throughout your body.

Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from your heart. Veins carry oxygen-poor blood back to your heart. Your blood leaves the left side of the heart and is pumped out to the rest of your body.

The main artery from your heart is called the “aorta.” As your blood travels throughout your body, it enters smaller and smaller blood vessels, reaching every cell, dropping off nutrients and picking up waste products and carbon dioxide. Your blood then starts the trip back in your veins, entering larger and larger ones as it goes, passing through your kidneys and liver on the way to drop off waste products. The blood eventually arrives back at the right side of your heart to start the trip all over again.

The Society for Vascular Surgery wants you to know that as we age, our arteries tend to thicken, get stiffer, and narrow when plaque builds up and cholesterol collects in large- and medium-sized arteries. A narrowing of the arteries from the build-up of plaque can lead to coronary heart disease and can cause a heart attack when this occurs in the blood vessels leading to the heart. The same situation in the arteries leading to the brain can cause strokes. Narrowing of the arteries in other places, such as your legs, can cause what is called peripheral arterial disease or PAD. PAD can lead to sores and pain with walking, which may eventually lead to gangrene and an amputation. When the smaller arteries are affected, it is called “arteriosclerosis.”

If your doctor diagnoses you with vascular disease, it is important to see a vascular surgeon. They are highly trained in vascular disease and are the only medical professionals who can treat vascular disease with medical management, minimally invasive procedures, and open surgeries. To learn more about your vascular health, visit www.VascularWeb.org.

Leg Cramps Can be Red Flag for Heart Disease

<b>Leg Cramps Can be Red Flag for Heart Disease</b> (NewsUSA) – “When I walk, I get an aching pain — like a charlie horse — in my left calf,” said Barbara, age 65. “I must be getting old.”

Barbara is not alone in attributing leg pain to old age, but no one should ignore leg cramps — muscle pain that occurs while walking can herald a dangerous condition called peripheral arterial disease (P.A.D.).

In P.A.D., arteries in the legs become clogged with fatty deposits, which restrict blood flow. If left untreated, P.A.D. can lead to permanent disability, amputation or death, not to mention a two- to six-fold increase in heart attack or stroke risk. P.A.D. shares a close link with heart disease and stroke. Blocked arteries in the legs can signal blocked arteries in the heart and brain, and the same conditions and behaviors that cause P.A.D. also lead to heart disease and stroke.

Nine million Americans have P.A.D. Yet, according to a recent survey conducted by the P.A.D. Coalition, only 25 percent of adults have heard of P.A.D.

P.A.D. develops over many years. Patients may not experience any symptoms. If they do, the most common signs include:

* Cramps, tiredness or pain in your legs, thighs or buttocks that always happens when you walk but goes away with rest.

* Foot or toe pain at rest that disturbs your sleep.

* Skin wounds or ulcers on your feet or toes that do not heal for eight to 12 weeks.

P.A.D. is easily diagnosed by the ankle-brachial index or A.B.I. test, which compares the blood pressure in the ankles to the blood pressure in the arms.

According to the Vascular Disease Foundation, early detection and treatment can help avoid the disease’s most devastating complications. Quitting smoking, lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, managing blood glucose in patients with diabetes and taking antiplatelet medications can help people with P.A.D. lower their risk of heart attack and stroke. A prescribed exercise program proves the most effective treatment for managing symptoms, though some patients require endovascular or surgical procedures.

The sooner one talks to their health care provider, the sooner they can take steps to keep in circulation. For more information, visit www.vdf.org or www.PADCoalition.org or call 866.PAD.INFO.