Smoking is one of the most detrimental things you can do for your heart health. It increases your risk of developing a range of heart conditions, and if you smoke while you’re being treated for heart disease, it makes controlling your condition harder. If you smoke, talk to your heart doctor about how your habit is impacting your health and what strategies you can use to quit. Consider these effects that smoking can have on your heart.
Coronary Heart Disease
Tobacco smoke is one of the six independent risk factors for coronary heart disease . It has such a dramatic impact on your heart disease risk that the Surgeon General has deemed it the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. When you smoke, your blood pressure goes up and your ability to tolerate exercise goes down. It also increases the likelihood that your blood will clot and decreases the amount of good cholesterol in your blood. All of these factors combine to significantly boost the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. If you smoke and have other risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity, diabetes, and family history, your chances of developing heart disease go up even more.
Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, occurs when the blood flow to your limbs is reduced. It is caused by atherosclerosis, or a buildup of plaque on your artery walls. This causes your blood vessels to narrow, which reduces blood flow. Typically, PAD can be an indication that you also have atherosclerosis elsewhere in your body. Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for PAD, which can cause stroke and heart attack.
Chronic or Recurring Heart Conditions
Smoking interferes with your heart’s ability to heal. If you have bypass surgery, your risk of redeveloping coronary heart disease increases if you smoke after surgery. Smoking while under care for a heart condition will lessen the effectiveness of any treatments you receive.
Don’t let smoking put your heart in harm’s way. Talk to the cardiologists near Phoenix at Cardiac Solutions. Our doctors can help you understand your condition and learn ways to quit smoking for good. To schedule an appointment with a heart doctor, call (623) 876-8816.