Smoking and the Effects on the Heart

Topics: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Artery Pages: 4 (1407 words) Published: October 11, 2005
The Surgeon General has called it "the leading preventable cause of disease and deaths in the United States." Smoking is among the top preventable risk factors of heart disease amongst many other health problems. Coronary heart disease and strokes are the primary types of cardiovascular disease caused by smoking. They rank as the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. More than 61 million Americans suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease. Smoking increases your risk for high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and aneurysms to name a few. More than 2,600 Americans die every day from cardiovascular diseases. To function effectively, the heart needs a constant supply and flow of blood. Coronary heart disease is the term that describes conditions caused when the blood flow is interrupted or slowed. The most common cause of this is atherosclerosis; a build up of fatty deposits and plaque in the arteries, or blot clots. Depending on the sever ness of such a blockage, it can cause anything from minor chest pain to a fatal heart attack. This can damage and weaken the heart permanently even after a recovery. It's estimated that nearly smoking causes one-fifth of the deaths from heart disease. Smoking is the most important risk factor for young men and women. It produces a greater relative risk in people under 50. Cigarette smoking, raised blood cholesterol and high blood pressure are the among the top non?hereditary risk factors leading to Coronary heart disease, with cigarette smoking being the at the top of the list. Every smoker has an increased risk for heart disease, and the younger you are the greater the risk if you continue to smoke. Compared to a non-smoker, smokers have two to three times the risk for heart attacks and up to four times the risk of dying from cardiac arrest. On top of that, if you also have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, your risk escalates up to eight...
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