Smoking and Heart Conditions
When people think of smoking, they automatically think of the damage smoking causes to the lungs. While the lungs are always effected by smoking, heart disease is also related to smoking. Nearly 160,000 people die per year from heart-related deaths caused by smoking.
How Smoking Affects the Heart
Smoking puts direct stress on your heart. Every time someone puffs on a cigarette, they are causing immense pressure on their heart that can cause irreversible damage. The moment you inhale, you will be doing the following to your body:
- Increasing your heart rate, forcing your heart to work harder
- Tightening your major arteries causing further stress on the heart
- Changing heart rhythm in some cases
As you smoke, your blood pressure will also rise. Smoking is a trigger for heart conditions.
Further Heart Damage
The ingredients and chemicals found within cigarettes will further damage your heart. The tar and carbon monoxide are the two ingredients known to cause the most damage. When you smoke, these chemicals will begin to accumulate within your body. This is what is called “plaque.” As plaque starts to build up, your heart is put under even more stress.
Plaque will start to restrict blood flow and may lead to cholesterol levels rising in the body, which can lead to clotting or a heart attack.
The carbon monoxide formed when smoking will also rob your body of oxygen. Your heart, arteries and brain will all suffer from lower oxygen levels, causing your lungs to have to work harder to supply the oxygen that your body needs.
Not only does smoking harm the smoker, secondhand smoking will cause harm to those around the smoker. Spouses, friends and children are all negatively impacted when smoking occurs around them even if they are not the ones inhaling.
Prevention Can Save Your Life
Besides the obvious solution, which is to quit smoking, everyone should undergo a heart disease screening. Through a screening, you will be able to detect heart disease early. The good news is that through screening, further preventative measures can be taken.
Early detection will allow for advanced therapies to be undergone which will halt artery disease. Every year, there are 500,000 people that die from heart disease. Nearly 80 percent of people that die from heart disease are under the age of 65. No matter your age, heart disease can be fatal and leads to over 1 million heart attacks per year.
Phone Applications– There are apps available that will send you reminders to do a breathing exercise or that you have been sitting for a long period of time and it might be beneficial to get up and walk around! The apple watch does this by monitoring your heart rate!
If you are a smoker, a heart screening is highly recommended. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for more information!
Contact Beverly Hills Cardiology today to get a cardiology consultation to make sure you can stay as heart healthy as possible!