A study by the University of Malta’s Department of Podiatry supervised by Professor Cynthia Formosa and Dr Alfred Gatt was conducted with the purpose of evaluating the effect of smoking on arterial perfusion, and to determine whether the cessation of smoking would result in a significant improvement on the circulation of persons living with type 2 diabetes.
A total of 32 participants participated in a non-experimental comparative quantitative research whereby some attended the Department of Podiatry, while others were present at a Primary Health Care Department. The participants were split into Group A, which consisted of 11 current smokers, 11 past smokers and 10 non-smokers with no history of smoking.
Utilising the toe brachial pressure index (TBPI), patients were tested and their brachial and toe systolic pressures were recorded. This served as a way to assess whether these patients had Peripheral arterial disease due to their smoking, or otherwise.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a systemic disease often referred to as a progressive atherosclerotic disease that impedes arterial perfusion to lower extremities.
The study indeed confirmed the negative effect of tobacco smoking on lower limb perfusion, however, TBPI scores can be improved upon by encouraging these patients to stop smoking.
The authors also suggest that it is time that a different approach concentrating on the benefits of smoking cessation rather than adopting an alarmist approach is warranted.
The journal documenting this study may be accessed online.