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How Does Smoking Affect Your Heart? Side Effects and Risks – Healthline

Summary

Smoking tobacco affects almost every organ in the body. It can cause many health risks and complications, including those that affect the heart.

In fact, smoking affects the entire cardiovascular system, which includes the heart, blood, and blood vessels.

The cardiovascular side effects of smoking can be serious. Over time, they can cause severe health issues like stroke or heart failure.

To learn more about how smoking affects the heart, read on.

Cardiovascular diseas…….

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Smoking tobacco affects almost every organ in the body. It can cause many health risks and complications, including those that affect the heart.

In fact, smoking affects the entire cardiovascular system, which includes the heart, blood, and blood vessels.

The cardiovascular side effects of smoking can be serious. Over time, they can cause severe health issues like stroke or heart failure.

To learn more about how smoking affects the heart, read on.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an umbrella term for diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels.

Since CVD refers to any disease involving the heart or blood vessels, most heart-related smoking issues fall into this category. But some conditions are causes of CVD, rather than types.

In terms of heart health, smoking can lead to:

High blood pressure

High blood pressure is when the blood in your arteries flows with too much force. It’s also called hypertension.

Cigarette smoke causes high blood pressure because it contains nicotine. Nicotine is a harmful chemical that increases blood pressure.

Atherosclerosis

In atherosclerosis, the arteries become narrow and stiff due to plaque buildup. Plaque is made of substances like cholesterol, fat, and scar tissue.

Plaque blocks blood flow, making it difficult for blood to reach other parts of the body, and it also causes inflammation.

Specifically, cigarette smoke causes and worsens atherosclerosis by increasing inflammation. The inflammation promotes cholesterol and plaque buildup, which accumulate in the arteries.

Also, smoking causes hypertension, which increases the risk of atherosclerosis. That’s because high blood pressure places extra strain on the arteries, making them more susceptible to stiffness and cholesterol buildup.

Arrhythmia

Arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat. It’s also called an abnormal heart rhythm.

Smoking triggers cardiac fibrosis, or the scarring of heart muscle. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat or a fast heartbeat, also known as tachycardia.

The nicotine in cigarettes also increases heart rate, which can lead to tachycardia.

Coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease (CHD) happens when the arteries in the heart, called coronary arteries, are unable to bring enough blood to the heart. It’s also called ischemic heart disease or coronary artery disease.

Smoking can cause CHD via atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.

Over time, atherosclerosis causes plaque to build up in the coronary arteries, making it difficult for blood to pass through. High blood pressure also damages the coronary arteries, making them even narrower.

Additionally, the chemicals in cigarette smoke can thicken blood, forming clots that may block coronary arteries.

Stroke

Smoking promotes the formation of plaque and clots, which can block blood vessels throughout the body. If this occurs in the brain, it can cause a stroke.

A stroke, or a brain attack, happens …….

Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/smoking/how-does-smoking-affect-your-heart