Smoking and coronary artery disease/Heart

Everyone knows that smoking greatly increases the risk of cancer and heart problems. Unfortunately, too many people don’t understand just how much smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

If you keep smoking, your heart problems will likely become much worse, much faster.

Smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of heart problems and illness. It has a very harmful impact on the heart and blood vessels and is a major cause of coronary artery disease, stroke and cardiac arrest.

Smoking is the major and avoidable cause of premature death and ill-health in the world. About 25-30℅ of the smoking-related deaths are due to coronary heart disease and smoking is responsible for about 20℅ of all deaths from CHD.

Tobacco smoke is a dangerous cocktail of over 4000 thousand chemicals, 60 of which are carcinogens. Nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide are the main poisons. Nicotine is a highly addictive toxic substance. Nicotine damages the heart in the following ways:

1) stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and causes the body to release more stress hormones like adrenaline, which increases the heart rate and blood pressure.

2) the heartbeat can become irregular.

3) induces spasms in the coronaries, damages the endothelial lining, promoting the formation and progression of atherosclerosis.

4) can trigger a major ischemic event

5) increases the stickiness of platelets and fibrinogen levels and promotes clot formation.

Carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream binds to the haemoglobin reducing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

Remember, smoking not only affects the person who is smoking but also affects family, friends and people who breathe second-hand smoke( passive smokers).

Many people continue to smoke though they are aware of the health risks. Smokers feel that they are getting benefits like enjoyment, relaxation, concentration, weight control and mood control by smoking.

There are some side effects of smoking on the heart and blood vessels.

1) Atherosclerosis – This is a disease in which the blood vessels become stiffer and become inelastic. Chemicals of cigarettes cause the build-up of plaque and hence lead to atherosclerosis.

2) Clots– smoking causes the blood to thicken, which increases the formation of blood clots in the arteries and veins. This causes more blockage in the vessels. So, this blockage can lead to cardiovascular disease and sudden heart attacks.

3) Enlarged heart– Actually, cigarettes contain carbon monoxide that binds the haemoglobin. As all of us know that haemoglobin is responsible for carrying, due to the bind of haemoglobin oxygen can not go to cells in the body, resulting in an enlarged heart.

4) Constricted vessels – Nicotine in cigarettes cause the blood vessels to constrict and become narrow. This forefront restricted blood flow to the heart and body. So, an enlarged heart and blocked blood vessels and arteries make it difficult to transport oxygen throughout the body.

Some of the cardiovascular diseases caused by smoking —

1) Heart Attack – A heart attack is a severe medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to the heart becomes completely blocked. This is due to a clot or plaque. A heart attack can be fatal and requires immediate emergency medical care.

2) Coronary artery disease – It occurs when excessive plaque builds up in the major arteries that pump blood from the heart. This plaque is caused by cholesterol, lipids and chemicals from smoking.

3) Stroke – A stroke is another severe medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to the brain becomes blocked. As a result, brain tissues are unable to receive oxygen from the blood and brain cells begin to die. Strokes can be extremely fatal and therefore require immediate emergency medical care.

So, quitting smoking is necessary to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Doctors and other health professionals have the highest credibility to persuade and help smokers to quit.

Once the smoker has quit smoking there are chances that he may go into a replacement.

Many people have some questions in mind. If smoking is so risky why has no government banned it? Is the government afraid of losing revenue that the cigarette sale generate? Whatever the amount of revenue generation, it is at the cost of people’s health.

Hope that someone understands this very quickly.

So, please quit smoking and enjoy life.

Dr S.k.jha


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