Tags: heart disease | smoking | high blood pressure | hypertension | risk

Smoking and High Blood Pressure: Heart Disease Risks Real

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 07:02 PM

The link between smoking and lung cancer is well-documented, but the habit has also been linked to heart disease, stroke and other chronic lung diseases. Smoking can also enhance the risk of cancer of the bladder, mouth, throat, cervix, kidneys and pancreas, according to the American Heart Association.

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Smoking remains the most preventable cause of death. Tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year worldwide, and that number is projected to reach more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cigarette smoking is linked to about 480,000 deaths per year in the U.S., including an estimated 41,000 deaths from secondhand smoke exposure.

Cigarette smoking alone enhances the risk of coronary heart disease, but it is increased further when it combines with one of the other main independent factors, such as high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, a lack of physical activity, obesity and diabetes, according to the AHA.

Statistically, smokers are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease, and the risk is higher for women who also take birth control pills. The nicotine in cigarettes lowers how much oxygen the heart gets, raises blood pressure, and speeds up the heart rate.

It also decreasing exercise tolerance, while making blood clots more likely; this can lead to heart attacks or strokes. It also decreases HDL (good) cholesterol. Combined with a family history of heart disease, smoking significantly increases the risk.

Just being around cigarette smoke is harmful, as secondhand smoke can cause heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmokers. In general, smokers die 13 to 14 years sooner than nonsmokers, the CDC said.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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The link between smoking and lung cancer is well-documented, but the habit has also been linked to heart disease, stroke and other chronic lung diseases.
heart disease, smoking, high blood pressure, hypertension, risk
346
2014-02-21
Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 07:02 PM
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