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Smoking Can Lead To Disease, Amputations  

Smoking, weight gain, high cholesterol and high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack. But there is another risk. It's called peripheral artery disease.
Jump to full article: KCRA Ch. 3 (Sacramento, CA), 2007-08-03


She wants to warn people about peripheral artery disease or PAD for short. It's a plaque buildup in arteries that can cause blood clots. If blood can't flow into the arms and legs, they won't work and may need to be amputated.

Vascular Surgeon Dr. John Laird is with the University of California, Davis Medical Center. He said he sees many cases of PAD.

"It's actually very common, and becoming more common with the aging of our population," said Laird, who was operating on a patient with the condition just moments before our interview.

An estimated 8 million people have PAD. Some people inherit it. Diabetes is a big factor. Others bring it on with bad habits. Weight gain, high cholesterol and high blood pressure can cause it, too.

But Laird said smoking is one of the biggest reasons people may develop PAD.

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