Thursday, November 15, 2012

Smoking and cardiovascular disease

Smoking and cardiovascular disease

Smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is the first cause of death in developed countries.

Cardiovascular diseases are disorders or damage to the heart muscle (myocardium), blood vessels of the heart or blood vessels system (veins and arteries).
Smoking and cardiovascular disease
Causes of cardiovascular disease (CVD) are poor nutrition, physical inactivity and smoking. They are "modifiable risk factors". Avoidance would reduce 80% of premature deaths caused by CVD.

Recognized as the leading cause of premature death in developed countries, smoking is considered as the most important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Smoking and cardiovascular disease
Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, of which about 60 are recognized as carcinogenic. They affect the cardiovascular system by:
Smoking and cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Acceleration of heart rate
- Reduction of oxygen supply
- Cause the formation of plaque
- Reducing the level of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)
- Onset of angina attacks

Risk of myocardial infarction in smokers are twice higher than the non-smokers. Smokers who suffered a heart attack are more susceptible to sudden death than nonsmokers.
Smoking and cardiovascular disease
Nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood and affects blood vessel walls, causing plaque formation. In addition, smoking favors the occurrence of cardiovascular disease by reducing the amount of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).

Smoking is the major risk factor for peripheral vascular disease characterized by narrowing the blood vessels that carry blood to the arms and legs.

For smokers, quitting the habit is the most important measure to reduce risk. After a year of tobacco abstinence, the risk of coronary heart disease (angina or heart attack) is reduced by half. On average, hardcore smokers who quit the habit of smoking extend their life expectancy by four years.

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