We investigated the relationship between smoking and the risk of nonnormal (≤0.99) ankle-brachial index (ABI) at rest and after ankle plantar flexion exercise in healthy male community dwellers. A cross-sectional study was performed including 228 Japanese men aged 40 to 64 years without a history of cardiovascular diseases. Participants were classified as never, ex-, and current smokers. We estimated the multivariate-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for nonnormal ABI of ex- and current smokers in relation to never smokers after adjusting for age and other confounding factors. At rest, the prevalence of nonnormal ABI was not significantly different by smoking status. After exercise, the prevalence of nonnormal ABI increased from 1.8% to 11.5% in ex-smokers and from 3.8% to 17.0% in current smokers, while the prevalence did not significantly change in never smokers. The multivariate-adjusted OR for nonnormal ABI after ankle plantar flexion exercise, in relation to never smokers, was 3.85 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.79-18.9) for ex-smokers and 6.97 (95% CI: 1.32-36.7) for current smokers. Our results suggest that ABI after ankle plantar flexion exercise is useful for early detection of subclinical peripheral artery ischemia in male smokers without typical symptoms.
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