Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease

Cigarette smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Smokers are at a greater risk for diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels. Most people associated with smoking can cause lung cancer, along with major other side effects but a major cause is heart disease for smokers, both men and women. Almost 20% of all deaths from heart disease in the U.S. are directly related to smoking.

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Nearly every organ in your body is harmed from smoking. To be specific your eyes, lungs, mouth, gums, bladder, bones, blood vessels, reproductive organs and your heart. Even people who smoke fewer than five cigarettes a day can have early signs of cardiovascular disease. Smoking damages blood vessels and can make them thicken and grow narrower. This makes your heart beat faster and your blood pressure go up.

Cardiovascular disease refers to any disease that involves the heart and the blood vessels. Smoking increases blood pressure, which in turn decreases exercise tolerance and increases the tendency for a blood to clot. A heart attack occurs when a clot blocks the blood flow to your heart. When this happens, your heart cannot get enough oxygen. This damages the heart muscle, and part of the heart muscle can die.

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It is estimated that nearly 70,000 nonsmokers die from heart disease each year as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. For decades the American Heart Association has been working to reduce the number of deaths of cardiovascular disease from cigarette smoking. Once you stop smoking, the less likely chance of you being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease will decrease. Take action with Dr. Rosenberg’s help and guidance along the way.


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