Smoking and the Effects on the Heart Essay

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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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Smoking creates toxins in the blood. This greatly contributes to the development of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fatty material is deposited along the walls of the arteries. This fatty material thickens, hardens, and can eventually block the arteries if not treated. Clots may also form around the plaque deposits. Smoking raises the levels of proteins that cause the blood to clot and also increases platelet production, making the blood stickier which further creates risk for clots. This also interferes with the blood flow and poses an added danger if they were to break off and travel through the body causeing assorted health problems such as heart attack, stroke, or gangrene.
As soon as you begin to smoke, you cause immediate health risks. Within one minute of smoking, the heart rate rises significantly, as much as 30% in the first 10 minutes. Nicotine also raises blood pressure. Blood vessels constrict, forcing the heart to work harder. This makes it more difficult for the oxygenated blood to be pumped efficiently to the rest of the body. Carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke also diminishes the blood's ability to carry oxygen in the blood. It attaches itself to hemoglobin much more easily than oxygen does. Hemoglobin is what carries oxygen in the blood. Also, Smoking decreases HDL, or good cholesterol. It also increases LDL, bad cholesterol. The more
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