Smoking and Heart Disease

Smoking is a deadly habit to keep, literally. Smoking along with other contributing factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol can cause chronic diseases. One disease that has been the number one killer of men and women in the U. S. is cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease has many contributors, but smoking itself is a high risk to contract the disease. Non-smokers also have to pay attention to the air they are breathing because the smoke around you can kill you! What is heart disease? Many of us at a young age believe that heart disease can only happen to “older” people.

The truth is that heart disease has to be considered while a person is young, how a person takes care of their body inside and out will determine what diseases are in store at an older age. For instance, cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for forty-two percent of all deaths in the U. S. (healingwithnutrition. com) and smoking is one of the highest contributors to obtaining this dreadful disease. Cardiovascular Disease CVD also is the leading cause of death of Americans age thirty-five and older (healingwithnutrion. com)!

Who says you have to be old to have heart disease? According to the 2003 General Household Survey taken by the Office of National Statistics, forty-five percent of Americans between the age of twenty-five to fifty-nine years of age smokethe highest of all age groups. Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) includes dysfunctional conditions of the heart, arteries, and veins that supply oxygen to vital life-sustaining areas of the body like the brain, the heart itself, and other vital organs.

If oxygen doesn’t arrive the tissue or organ will die ( And how does this affect people who smoke? Smokers have twice the risk of heart attack as nonsmokers. Smoking attributes to One-fifth of the annual 1,000,000 deaths from CVD. Surveillance data indicate that an estimated 1,000,000 young people become “regular” smokers each year. Smoking and CVD Smoking adds to the artery-clogged process. It is know that smoking is a contributing factor to CVD, but why? What does smoking actually do to help in CVD? First of all, smoking overworks the heart and reduces its oxygen supply.

It also makes clots more likely to form in blood vessels and increases the risk of potentially fatal changes in the heartbeat (Better Health Channel, 2004). Other damages that smoking contributes to CVD is: Causes immediate and long term increases in blood pressure and heart rate, as well as changes the properties of blood vessels and blood cells? allowing cholesterol and other fatty substances to build up (Holy Name Health Manual). Second-Hand Smoke So you say you your safe because you don’t smoke. Not always true.

Many of us know of someone who smokes and may be living with that person or even just eating at a restaurant with them. Second-hand smoke is basically the air that non-smokers breathe in while in the same areas of smokers. Second-hand smoke ranks third as a major preventable cause of death behind only active smoking and alcohol (Parmley, 2001). According to the OMA Population Committee of Health, as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke, there is an acute compromise of the coronary artery disease, platelet activation, and abnormalities of vasodilation.

Conclusion As you can see, smoking is a very high contributor to CVD even to non-smokers. The importance of awareness of what smoking does to the heart is the main step into not beginning this bad habit. Smoking may not directly cause CVD, but along with other factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol will make this an easy disease to have. So what is the answer? The only answer out there is smokers need to quit smoking and non-smokers need to pay attention to their surroundings. Unfortunately, there is no other way to “help” prevent this killer disease.

If smokers can eliminate this unhealthy habit from their lives they have taken the first step in lowering their chances in contracting many chronic diseases. References: General Household Survey 2003, Office for National Statistics, 2004. Retrieved February 22, 2005 from: http://www. ash. org. uk/html/factsheets/html/fact01. html. Healing With Nutrition-Cardiovascular Disease Facts, Disease Prevention, and Treatment Strategies. Retrieved February 22, 2005 from: http://www. healingwithnutrition. com/cdisease/cardiovascular/cardiovascular.

html#A1. 2000, October 5. The Better Health Channel. Smoking and Heart Disease, the Facts. Retrieved February 22, 2005 from: http://www. betterhealth. vic. gov. au/bhcv2/bhcarticles. nsf/pages/Smoking_and_heart_disease_the_facts? OpenDocument Glantz SA, Parmley WW. Passive smoking and heart disease: Epidemiology, physiology, and biochemistry. Circulation , 1991:83;1-12 Holy Name. Org. Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease Facts about smoking and cardiovascular disease. Retrieved on February 22, 2005 from: http://www. oma. org/phealth/2ndsmoke. htm.

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