Smoking Increases the Risk of Venous Disease

SmokingSmoking usually affects the heart and lungs, among others. Recent findings reveal another reason to drop the habit. Research shows that smoking increases the risk of venous diseases, which may lead to death if left untreated.

Smoking and Vein Diseases: What’s the Link?

Toxins enter the body whenever a person smokes. These toxins cause the blood to thicken upon contact, thus increasing the chances of clot formation. The clot in the blood vessels may linger and become venous outflow obstructions, thus creating problems in blood flow.

Signs of problems in blood circulation manifest externally. Smokers will most likely have venous diseases if they experience varicose veins, swellings, cramps, skin color changes or a feeling of heaviness. Such symptoms may escalate to severe conditions if left untreated, however.

Clinical trials on Smoking-Related Venous Diseases

A study proved the link between smoking and venous disease. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that there is a significant relationship between venous insufficiency and tobacco smoking for people of all ages and genders. They found that the more a person smokes, the more likely varicose veins and other signs of venous diseases would appear.

To prove this, they examined 1,806 cases of smokers and nonsmokers who are suffering from lower limb venous insufficiency. They compared the frequency of smoking to the incidences of signs of venous diseases.

Results showed that signs or odds of venous diseases in the lower extremities increased along with the number of cigarettes consumed. People who smoke 10–19 cigarettes per day were 1.7 times more likely to have venous disease. On the other hand, those who consume 20 and more cigarettes on a daily basis were 2.4 times more at risk.

Prevention and Treatment

Recognizing the impacts of smoking to venous health, doctors strongly suggest that smokers stop the habit. They should look for healthier alternatives when they feel the urge to smoke. They should also remove cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters and other smoking triggers from their sight.

There are also certain medications and rehabilitation programs to help smokers overcome the habit.  Using FDA-approved cessation drugs and nicotine replacements may help reduce or remove addiction to smoking.

Smoking causes a myriad of conditions, all of which are life threatening. Smokers should stop the habit before it becomes a real problem to their health.

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