What Is Heart Disease | A Serious Danger Of Smoking – Its Effect On Your Heart

August 9, 2011 by
Filed under: What is Heart Disease 

One of the more serious possible conditions from long-term cigarette smoking is heart disease. That’s a statement we hear often in discussions of smoking. But what does it really mean? What is heart disease, and how does smoking cause it?
Heart disease is when one of your major arteries that lead from your heart and carry needed oxygen to the blood becomes partially blocked. If the blockage worsens it can lead to a heart attack or a coronary meaning your coronary artery is blocked and the flow in that artery stops. That is why another term for heart disease is coronary artery disease.
Long term, heavy smoking greatly increases the odds of that happening for several reasons.
Smoking slows the flow of oxygen into the heart which increases your chances of heart disease. The carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke attaches itself to the hemoglobin of the red blood cells. These are the cells that help carry oxygen to the heart.
Cigarettes also contain nicotine which works against the heart because it robs the blood of oxygen that the heart needs. It also makes the blood clot easier which increases your risk of a heart attack.
Nicotine also contributes to the clogging of your arteries. Nicotine promotes the formation of fatty deposits on the walls of your arteries. Over time the arteries begin to clog and blood can not flow freely.
Arthrosclerosis is a condition where good cholesterol called HDL (high density lipoprotein) is decreased in the blood which allows for fat deposits to form on the arteries. Smoking greatly encourages and feeds this condition.
There is a reason that heart disease and stroke are often mentioned together when discussing the harmful effects of smoking. With the clogging of arteries brought on by smoking there is an increase in blood pressure as the blood struggles to pass through the constricted arteries. Because of the increased stress on these arteries and the heart, any weak area will most likely rupture. That means that oxygen will not flow to the brain and that leads to a stroke.
When your arteries become hard they are not able to perform their tasks without extreme stress.
Like a hose, it carries fluid and can only do so when there are no holes. At the same time, unlike most hoses, it’s ‘on’ all the time. Any stoppage of blood flow, however temporary, causes immediate health problems. Tissues need a continual supply of blood or they die very quickly.


what is heart disease

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