• We previously found an increase in serum proteolytic activity in smokers with direct inguinal herniation and a similar imbalance in smokers with abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), but not in smokers with Leriche's syndrome (LS). If the protease imbalance in the blood of smokers with AAA or herniation is a causal factor, these conditions should be associated. Therefore, we determined whether this is true using patients with LS as control subjects. The frequency of inguinal herniation was significantly higher in the AAA population (N=341; 25.8%) than in patients with LS (N =417; 14.6%). In addition, patients with AAA had more severe herniation (direct, bilateral, recurrent, or earlier onset) and had more pronounced leukocytosis (9,000/cu mm v 8,190/cu mm). These data suggest that increased blood proteolytic activity may play a role in the development of both AAA and adult inguinal herniation but not LS. Men who smoke manifest different systemic effects.
(Arch Surg 1984;119:387-389)