Regular smoking raises a female's risk of developing PAD (peripheral artery disease) 10-fold, researchers from Harvard Medical School revealed in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine. They added that even short-term smoking appears to elevate the risk significantly for women.

Peripheral artery diseases, also known as PAD, is a type of peripheral vascular disease in which an artery is either partially or totally blocked, often one leading to a limb. It is not the same as leg artery disease (usually due to atherosclerosis) or arm artery disease (usually due to repetitive motion, autoimmune disease, radiation therapy, Raynaud's disease, a blood clot, radiation therapy, and trauma). PAD is a serious and debilitating disease.

PAD signs and symptoms include painful legs with normal activity, as well as tiredness in the leg muscles.

Eruna Pradhan, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and team carried out a study involving 38,825 women aged at least 45 years for an average of 12.7 years. They wanted to see whether smoking raised PAD risk, and also whether giving up smoking might reduce the risk, and by how much.

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