How Smoking Leads to Heart Disease

March 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Smoking

Cigarette smoking may always lead to serious repercussions, such as serious conditions like heart disease. However, we do not often hear what that means or how smoking may cause it, in the first place.

Most of the time, as a repercussion of smoking, this refers to coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is when a main blood vessel leaving the heart with blood rich in oxygen becomes constricted. Because of this, the risk of blood clot or vessel closure is heightened. Heavy smoking for a long time relates to this in a couple of ways.

Cigarette smoking comes with the presence of carbon monoxide, which combines with hemoglobin, present in red blood cells to move oxygen around in the body, the heart included. When the heart’s oxygen decreases while smoking, the risk of heart disease increases.

Cigarette smoking also comes with the presence of nicotine, which also decreases the blood’s oxygen. Nicotine is harmful in more ways than one, though. It also increases the risk of blood clotting, which could have a direct effect on increasing the risk in getting heart diseases.

The effects of smoking through nicotine are very dangerous. In the long run, nicotine addiction may help fatty deposits grow on the arteries. This will constrict the blood from flowing through the body and will harden the blood vessels.

Cigarette smoking also tends to lower the amount of high density lipoprotein (HDL) in the body, which is a good type of cholesterol. This would help fatty deposits grow and is sometimes referred to as atherosclerosis, a major cause of heart attack.

By reducing the size of an artery, blood pressure is increased, which makes the risk of a rupture more likely since the artery wall will weaken. This is called an aneurysm and could lead to the brain’s oxygen starvation, eventually leading to a stroke.

By hardening an artery, one has a harder time dealing with regular strains and stresses of its function, too. A blood vessel is quite similar to a hose, but is also different from in through various ways. Like a hose, fluids can be transported only when holes are present. Unlike hoses, however, it cannot be turned off while doing so. If blood stops in any way, for no matter how long, a person’s health could be in danger.

An overall effect that stems from cigarette smoking that could lead to heart disease is that the effects of smoking contribute largely to one’s physical health, and not in a good way. Some factors that may result from smoking are shortness of breath, reduced oxygen, and many more that makes exercise hard to manage. All of those factors, including choices one makes for their lifestyle are oftentimes linked to cigarette smoking.

Lack of exercise will lead to weight gain and an increase of body fat percentage, as well as further the risks of heart attack and heart disease, all because of smoking.

Heavy smoking in the long term has a much higher chance to lead to coronary heart disease than not smoking at all. Quit smoking now for a longer life. Three months after you quit smoking, your circulation will become better. A year after you quit smoking, you are that much closer to having a body of a non-smoker again. A decade after you quit smoking, you will be as healthy as a non-smoker again. It is never too late. Quit smoking now and see the difference.