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Smoking and Heart Disease

Essay by   •  February 8, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  773 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,604 Views

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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. ( 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 (! 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 cellsÐ'--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



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