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Smoking and Heart Attacks

-Smoking helps in the actual causation of a heart attack by the action of nicotine on the coronary arteries and on the blood which flows through the arteries.

There is a direct relationship between the use of tobacco, raised cholesterol and blockages of the coronary arteries.

Fatty plaques form inside the arteries leading to narrowing and roughening of the arteries increasing the risk of clot formation. Nicotine increases the levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol which is responsible for this fatty degeneration. Nicotine also increases platelet aggregation which is a factor in clot formation.

A heart attack occurs when there is an acute blockage of a coronary artery by a blood clot. This cuts off the blood supply to a specific area of heart muscles supplied by the artery. Severe damage or death of the heart muscle tissue occurs and this can affect the ability of the heart as a pump. If the damage of the heart muscle is extensive the heart may stop beating and death will occur.

The risk of coronary heart disease is 60 to 70% greater in male smokers than non-smokers.

Sudden death may be the first manifestation of coronary heart disease and it is 2 to 3 times more likely to occur in the 35 to 54 year old smokers than non-smokers.

Women smokers are also at increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. This risk increases more than 20 fold if the women smoker is also taking the contraceptive pill.

People vary in their susceptibility to heart disease and to the effects of smoking. Recent evidence shows that the risks for heart attack (family history, overweight, cholesterol and high blood pressure) are all aggravated by smoking.

American statistics show that 10 years after quitting the death rate for all tobacco related diseases of those who had smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day decreases by about two thirds. If they smoked under 20 cigarettes a day, the death rate in 10 years had returned to that of non-smokers.

So quit ..NOW!!!

- How to Stop Smoking - Passive Smoking
- Smokeless (Chewing) Tobacco - Smoking and Heart Attacks
- Smoking and Lung Disease - Smoking and Pregnancy
- Stopping Smoking

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