Love The Heart and Blood Vessels, and Let's Stop Smoking

Love The Heart and Blood Vessels, and Let's Stop Smoking

Smoking is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and causes 1 in every 4 deaths from CVD. The risk of CVD increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day and with chronic smoking habits. Smoking with lower levels of tar or nicotine does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

As many as 33,000 nonsmokers die each year in the United States from coronary heart disease caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. Passive smoking can also cause heart attacks and strokes.


Effect of smoking on cardiovascular disease

1. Atherosclerosis

A condition in which the arteries narrow and become less flexible. Fat, cholesterol, and other substances in the blood form plaque, which builds up on the artery walls. Arteries narrow as plaque builds up, and blood can no longer flow properly to various parts of the body. Smoking increases the formation of plaque in blood vessels.


2. Coronary Heart Disease

It occurs when the arteries that carry blood to the heart muscle become narrowed and become blocked by plaque or a blood clot. The chemicals in cigarette smoke cause plaque and blood clots to form in the coronary arteries. A blockage from a ruptured plaque can cause a heart attack and sudden death.


3. Stroke

In a stroke, there is a loss of brain function caused by impaired blood flow in the brain. A stroke can cause permanent brain damage and death. Smoking increases the risk of stroke. Death from stroke increases in active smokers compared to former smokers or people who have never smoked.



4. Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral vascular disease occurs when the blood vessels become narrower and blood flow to the arms, legs, hands, and feet is reduced. Body cells and tissues lack the oxygen they need when blood flow is reduced. Under conditions of severe illness, the affected limb may need amputation. Smoking is a preventable cause of peripheral arterial disease.


CVD Risk and Smoking Cessation

The risk of CVD begins to decline after the first five years of smoking cessation and continues to decline after 25 years of smoking cessation. About 10 years after you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease will be about half that of a heavy smoker. Those who quit smoking have a 40% lower risk of heart disease than smokers. If you are a current smoker, consider quitting. Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health.

Don't forget to immediately consult a heart and blood vessel specialist if the complaint doesn't get better.

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