Quit Smoking to Alleviate Heart Disease

July 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Heart Disease

It is no secret – smoking can lead to heart disease. But do you know how it does so? By smoking tobacco, the body is forced to live in an environment that is more susceptible to heart disease. Due to smoking, arteries get blocked and plaque builds up and clings to the sides of blood vessels, leading to heart disease. Other diseases that could stem from smoking are various cancers and pulmonary diseases.

The chief cause of death for smokers is atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque builds up in arteries, giving the blood difficulties in flowing to the heart and other body parts. While studies very, they all agree that smoking is a main cause in developing heart disease in various forms, and heart attacks stem from the same reason.

You can control the heart disease risk factors that could lead to coronary heart disease; smoking is one of them. Other things you have personal control over is obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol; all of this can be alleviated with a healthy diet and adequate exercise. Even though cigarette smoking is prevalent all over the world, the Surgeon General of the United States says that it is the one and only cause of death nation-wide that could actually be prevented to avoid heart disease.

Just because your health is good otherwise, this doesn’t mean that your smoking habits cannot lead to heart disease, although there are other heart disease risk factors out there you need to look out for. Smoking makes your blood pressure rise, causing hypertension. It also lowers your levels of oxygen, which then make it harder for you to sustain physical activities. The chance of blood clot formation and blocked arteries are also heightened, which could lead to heart disease.

People under the age of fifty are most at risk for heart disease because of smoking. Those in their late twenties to early thirties who have been long-term smokers are most known to develop heart disease. Female smokers who take contraceptive pills are more susceptible to heart disease, too.

Peripheral artery disease is another disease caused by smoking, where arteries run to various parts of the body, such as the brain, and cause strokes or the heart, which causes heart disease. All of this happens because smoking tends to clog the arteries.

It is not only cigarette smokers, however, that face heart disease risk factors. Even those who smoke pipes or cigars are highly at risk for heart disease, as well, although not as much as cigarette smokers. Even people who are merely around secondhand smoke a lot may be at risk for heart disease, as are those who smoke illegal drugs, such as crack or marijuana.

Decreasing your heart disease risk factors is easy and can be done within half a year of no smoking. Every year you abstain from smoking, your heart disease risk factors will come closer and closer to that of a non-smoker in no time.

quitting smoking. For each year you continue to abstain from smoking, your heart disease risk decreases until it is that of any other non-smoker.