Smoking is a leading cause of heart disease worldwide. It damages the heart and blood vessels, making them more likely to become blocked, leading to heart attacks and strokes. The risks of smoking to heart health are not only limited to active smokers but also to passive smokers. Studies have shown that passive smokers are also at risk of developing heart disease.
Smoking contributes to arterial damage, which occurs when the lining of the arteries becomes injured due to smoking. This makes the arteries narrow, causing a decrease in blood flow to the heart. If the blocked artery is supplying blood to the heart, this could lead to a heart attack. Smoking also increases the risk of developing clots in the blood which can block arteries.
Heart bypass surgery is also one of the complications that arise due to smoking. Studies have shown that smoking increases the chance of requiring that surgery by more than triple the amount for non-smokers.
In addition, smoking causes the heart to work harder by increasing the heart rate and blood pressure. The heart pumps more blood than usual, and this combined with narrowed arteries can lead to heart failure. The nicotine in cigarettes also causes the release of adrenaline, which further increases the workload on the heart and elevates blood pressure and heart rate.
Furthermore, smoking damages the cells that line the arteries and these damaged cells become susceptible to cholesterol build-up. This increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks, angina, and heart failure.
It is important to note that smoking is not the only major risk factor for heart disease. Other risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and insufficient physical activity. However, quitting smoking can have immediate and long-term benefits to heart health, reducing the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
In conclusion, the dangers of smoking on heart health are clear. Quitting smoking is the most effective way to reduce the risks of heart disease and improve overall health. However, it is important to seek medical help and support from family and friends to quit smoking successfully.