Smoking and the Effects on the Heart Essay

1399 Words Oct 3rd, 2005 6 Pages
The Surgeon General has called it "the leading preventable cause of disease and deaths in the United States." Smoking is among the top preventable risk factors of heart disease amongst many other health problems. Coronary heart disease and strokes are the primary types of cardiovascular disease caused by smoking. They rank as the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. More than 61 million Americans suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease. Smoking increases your risk for high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and aneurysms to name a few. More than 2,600 Americans die every day from cardiovascular diseases.
To function effectively, the heart needs a constant supply
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An aneurysm is a ballooning of the wall of an artery, which can lead to bursting or clotting. Smoking weakens the walls of the arteries, increasing the risk of developing an aneurysm. An Aortic aneurysm occurs in the main artery of the heart, the aorta. This is a life threatening condition more common in smokers than non-smokers. Smokers are very much more likely to die from a ruptured aneurysm.
Smokers also have a 16 times greater risk of developing peripheral vascular disease than people who do not smoke. Peripheral vascular disease is when there are blocked blood vessels in the legs or feet. Ignoring warning signs of this condition can lead to gangrene in the area of the blockage. Surgery can be done, however PVD can lead to amputation in many cases and possibly death if not treated in time.
Buerger's disease is a rare form of PVD. It most commonly affects the small and medium-sized arteries, veins, and nerves of the arms and legs. There is a very strong connection between tobacco use and the disease. It most commonly occurs in young male smokers, before the ago of 40. The only way to treat and prevent the disease is to abstain from all forms of tobacco.
Although most statistics show that men are generally at a higher risk for heart disease than women, smoking is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease among women. Women smokers who use birth control pills have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke than nonsmokers who use

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