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Smoking is healthy for your arteries

Smoking is healthy for your arteries!
London | May 26, 2004 2:59:04 PM IST
A University of Vienna study has revealed that even a deadly habit like smoking can actually be healthy for your arteries.

It might seem to be an unusual paradox, but smoking cigarettes does help arteries to stay open following a procedure to repair clogged blood vessels in the legs, the study claims.

Martin Schillinger, the lead author of the study, discovered that habitual heavy smokers who smoked after undergoing angioplasty had a lower rate of Restenosis, or re-narrowing of the arteries, than non-smokers.

Though he does not advocate smoking, yet Schillinger affirmed that increasing levels of carbon monoxide in the blood stream following angioplasty and stent placement within the lower limb arteries might help prevent Restenosis.

"Smokers exhibit a higher blood concentration of carbon monoxide, a potent anti-inflammatory agent known to dilate blood vessels," said Martin, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Vienna Medical School.

"Carbon monoxide can inhibit the growth of smooth muscle cells within the artery wall, which is a key factor in the Restenosis process," he added.

In peripheral artery disease (PAD), a narrowing or blockage in the arteries causes an insufficient flow of oxygenated blood to the arms or legs.

Dr. Schillinger and his research team studied 650 patients with PAD who underwent angioplasty with or without stent placement to open arteries leading to the legs.

The results suggest that delivering carbon monoxide to the site of the blockage could be a promising concept. (ANI)