Vascular Disease Caused By Smoking

It’s well known that smoking causes lung, airway and breathing problems. But it’s less known that vascular disease is caused by smoking.

1 out of 5 smokers will develop heart disease as a result of smoking. The risk is the same for people that breath in second-hand smoke also.


Vascular disease caused by smoking

Vascular disease

Smoking raises blood pressure and speeds up the heart rate. the carbon monoxide also reduces the amount of oxygen the heart gets.

Nicotine harms the inside of the small vessels in the heart and this makes clotting and blood clots much more likely. This can then lead to heart attack or stroke.

Smoking also causes thickening and narrowing of the hearts vessels. Lowers the level of good cholesterol and thickens blood all of which raise the risk of heart attack.


Does quitting smoking help

Once a smoker quits smoking, the body begins the process of healing itself, blood pressure drops back to normal levels and the risks of heart attack drop dramatically, this can take up to 2 years.


What if I just smoke one cigarette a day

A study I read (link in the reference) that was conducted in the UK reported by the National health service suggest that just one cigarette is just as dangerous as twenty, increasing heart and stroke risk by 40%.

The study looked at no cigarettes a day, 1 – 5 cigarettes (light smoking) and 20 cigarettes a day.

They found that the risk of heart disease in people smoking just 1 cigarette per day rose by 48% for men and 57% for women. This was around a third to half of the risk of smoking 20 a day. the percentages are similar for stroke risk.

The conclusion was that similarly reducing your smoking won’t cut your risk by that much and that if you want to significantly reduce it you must quit smoking altogether.


References

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.116.004950

https://www.cardiosmart.org/Healthy-Living/Stop-Smoking/Smoking-and-Heart-Disease

http://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.j5855

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