Thursday, December 26, 2013

Effects Tobacco Is Wearing The Heart

Tobacco affects more than just the health of your lungs; it also can take a toll on other organs of the body, including those of your cardiovascular system. This is not only due to the carbon monoxide you inhale with each puff, but also the nicotine and other chemicals contained in a cigarette. And while it may be difficult to kick the habit, the damaging effects that can occur within your heart and blood vessels from prolonged use make it well worth the try.

High Blood Pressure

When you smoke tobacco, you're actually putting yourself at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. Not many people know that nicotine itself has an immediate effect on a person's blood pressure, causing it to elevate momentarily. But as you continue to use tobacco products, your arterial walls can become damaged to a point that they begin to narrow, creating a great deal of resistance in your blood flow and prompting a hypertensive state.


Going hand-in-hand with high blood pressure is atherosclerosis, a condition in which you suffer from a narrowing and hardening of the arteries. Since nicotine is an irritant for your cardiovascular system, prolonged tobacco use can cause inflammation within the arterial walls. Any area of inflammation can essentially snag waste or plaque traveling in your bloodstream. Over time, more and more plaque gathers, narrowing your arteries and restricting blood flow.

High Blood Cholesterol

Tobacco use also has a negative effect on your blood cholesterol. Often referred to as hypercholesterolemia, high cholesterol causes fatty deposits to accumulate along your arterial walls, which can lead to both high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. But the nicotine found in a cigarette actually affects the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in your bloodstream, which is considered "good" cholesterol. Without an adequate amount of HDL cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as "bad" cholesterol, is more apt to increase.

Heart Disease

Another way in which tobacco affects your cardiovascular system is heart disease, which is actually a grouping of conditions that involve the overall function of your heart. It may be some level of damage to the muscles of the heart. It could also entail a narrowing within one or more of the valves. Regardless of its characteristics, the heart doesn't pump as it should, affecting oxygen levels, nutrient absorption and blood circulation.


As any of these conditions develop out of tobacco use, they can all cause you to suffer serious, sometimes life-threatening complications, such as angina, arrhythmias, heart failure, heart attack and stroke.

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