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Wednesday, 31 August 2005 13:00
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Campaign group warns of smoking risk to limbs
The campaign group Smoking and Health (Ash) has warned that smoking can increase the risk of peripheral arterial disease which affects circulation and can lead to gangrene and limb amputations by 16 times.

The report by Ash said that people generally know very little about the condition, which occurs because narrowing of the arteries makes it difficult for blood to reach some parts of the body.

Ash found that 2.7 million Britons over 55-years-of-age have some degree of PAD. One third of PAD patients die within five years and half within 10 years of diagnosis.

The condition presents no significant symptoms and is usually first detected when the patient suffers a heart attack or stroke.

Deborah Arnott, director of Ash, said: "Quite literally, smoking can cost an arm and a leg if people with arterial disease don't stop smoking.

"Doctors and health professionals should warn patients who smoke of the risk of arterial disease and offer them advice on ways to quit."


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