HealthDay News — Cigarette smoking is associated with measures of subclinical peripheral artery disease (PAD) in African-Americans, according to a study published online January 23 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Donald Clark III, MD, MPH, from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, and colleagues examined the correlation between cigarette smoking and PAD in African-Americans in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS). A total of 5306 JHS participants were classified into current, past, or never smokers by self-reported baseline smoking status. The authors examined correlations between baseline smoking status and intensity and measures of subclinical PAD (ankle-brachial index [ABI, visit 1] and aortic calcium by computed tomography [visit 2]).

The researchers found that 68, 19, and 13% of participants, respectively, were never smokers, past smokers, and current smokers at baseline. Current smokers had an increased risk for ABI <1 and an increased risk for abdominal aortic and aortoiliac calcium after adjustment for covariates (odds ratios, 2.2, 8.4, and 9.6, respectively). Compared with lower-intensity use, those smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day had a higher likelihood of subclinical PAD by all these measures. 

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“These data provide further evidence of the deleterious health effects of smoking in African-Americans and support further research exploring the impact of interventions on smoking cessation to reduce PAD in this population,” the authors write.

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