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Smoking and Cardiovascular Diseases


An Introduction

Cardiovascular Disease involves impaired functioning of the heart, arteries, and veins that supply oxygen to all vital organs of body, like the brain, the heart itself, and other internal organs. Lack of oxygen supply can cause the damage or death of the tissue and organs.

This damage disrupts the natural electrical impulses of the heart and result in an abnormally high or abnormally low heart rate. Sudden deviations in heart rate can cause noticeable palpitations, with an associated dizziness, and if severely abnormal could interfere with blood flow and even initiate a heart attack.

How Smoking Leads To Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

Tobacco smoke is full of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide distresses the heart by reducing the amount of oxygen the blood is able to carry. Thus, the heart, lungs, brain, and other vital organs of a smoker do not always receive sufficient oxygen to carry out daily activities.

Moreover, nicotine increases the heart rate and blood pressure. Over time, this causes unexpected "wear and tear" on the cardiovascular system. For this reason smokers are more likely to experience heart attacks, high blood pressure, blood clots, strokes, hemorrhages, aneurysms, and other disorders.

In fact smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease. Cigarette smoking is found to be a major cause of stroke by increasing clotting factors in the blood, declining HDL cholesterol levels, increasing triglyceride levels, and damaging the lining of blood vessels. The risk for stroke increases with the number of cigarettes smoked.

Coronary Heart Disease: A Specific Type Of Cardiovascular Disease

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is a particular type of cardiovascular disease and can result from a wealth of factors like smoking, hypertension , Hyperglycemia , Hypercholesterolemia and various others. When this disorder afflicts a person, abnormal swelling, specifically known as atheromatous plaques develop within the arteries of the heart. This disoder is critically sensitive and can lead to heart atack and even to the death of the patient if it goes unchecked Coronary Heart Disease is also known as coronary artery disease, ischaemic heart disease and atherosclerotic heart disease.

Smoking As A Cause Of Coronary Heart Disease

Smoking raises blood pressure, reduces exercise tolerance, and intensifies the tendency of blood clotting thereby; it intensifies the risk of coronary heart disease. Some of the striking facts dealing with smoking and coronary heart disease are listed below:

  • In comparison to non-smokers, cigarette smokers are 2-4 times more at the risk of succumbing to Coronary Heart Disease.
  • A smoker is likely to succumb to Coronary Heart Disease even after undergoing bypass surgery.
  • Cigarette smoking is more harmful in comparison to smoking pipes and cigars as cigarette smokers are more likely to die from cardiac problems that are the inevitable end results of Coronary Heart Disease.
  • Coronary Heart Disease is inevitable for a passive smoker with collected data indicating that on a yearly basis, 35,000 passive smokers die under the grip of coronary heart disease.

Besides coronary heart disease, cigarette smoking is an important risk factor for stroke as per medical studies. Cigarette smoking is affirmed as the prime avertable cause of premature deaths in world. Around 16% of annual deaths are accounted for cigarette smoking. Smokers not only increase the risk of getting disease to themselves but also to people around them who have to do passive or secondhand smoking. Data shows that about 37,000 to 40,000 people die from heart and blood vessel disease caused by other people's smoke each year. Of these, about 35,000 nonsmokers die of coronary heart disease, including heart attack.

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