August 1982

Smoking, Ignorance, and Peripheral Vascular Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, Southampton General Hospital (Drs Clyne and Carpenter, and Ms Arch), and Royal South Hants Hospital (Drs Webster and Chant), Southampton, England.

Arch Surg. 1982;117(8):1062-1065. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1982.01380320046012

• The effect of the surgeon's advice to give up smoking was studied in a group of 43 patients with peripheral vascular disease (PVD), using blood carboxyhemoglobin levels to detect deception. Only seven of 40 patients (17.5%) actually stopped smoking, but the remainder appeared fairly honest in reporting their continued habits. Few patients were aware of the possible harmful effect of smoking on the peripheral arteries. The 43 patients with PVD who smoked had significantly higher carboxyhemoglobin levels than a group of 25 smokers without PVD although their cigarette consumption was the same. This suggests that carboxyhemoglobin levels may provide a better indication of the risk of smoking than overall cigarette consumption alone in the development of PVD.

(Arch Surg 1982;117:1062-1065)