Alcohol And Heart Disease
Among the many risks the CDC lists as problems associated with any kind of excessive drinking, including AUD, binge drinking, and heavy drinking, heart attacks and heart disease are serious risks. Alcohol abuse of many kinds has been closely correlated with heart attacks from clots, cardiomyopathy, hardened arteries, and more.
A heart attack is defined as an acute medical problem with the heart when the arteries become so blocked that blood flow to the organ has been severely reduced, and the heart does not get needed oxygen when it pumps. This can cause weakened heart muscle, death of heart muscle, and eventually, the organ will stop beating. Heart attacks are deadly. Signs of a heart attack include:
- Shortness of breath
How Is Smoking Related To Heart Disease And Stroke
Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease and causes one of every four deaths from CVD.9 Smoking can:10
- Raise triglycerides
- Lower good cholesterol
- Make blood sticky and more likely to clot, which can block blood flow to the heart and brain
- Damage cells that line the blood vessels
- Increase the buildup of plaque in blood vessels
- Cause thickening and narrowing of blood vessels
Scientific Research From The American Heart Association
The American Heart Association has been researching the effects of marijuana use on cardiovascular health for a while now. One statement claimed that cannabis use poses a risk to cardiovascular health, though more research is critical.
Firstly their research shows that after one hour of smoking or vaping cannabis, THC can cause heart rhythm abnormalities including:
Secondly, THC stimulates the sympathetic nervous system which can cause:
- Higher heart rate
- Increased oxygen demand by the heart
- Higher blood pressure
- Dysfunction in the arterial walls.
Furthermore, smoking and inhaling cannabis may cause cardiomyopathy, angina, heart rhythm abnormalities, heart attacks, other serious cardiovascular conditions, and even a sudden cardiac death as a result of the THC content in weed.
However, consuming CBD products derived from industrial hemp plants didnt have the same results on users.
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What Are The Warning Signs
Whether or not you smoke, it’s important to know the warning signs of heart disease or heart attack. Sadly, not everyone has warning signs before a major cardiac incident, so lack of symptoms does not mean that no damage has occurred.
“Coronary heart disease usually develops slowly over time and the symptoms can be different for everyone. Angina is the term used to describe the most common symptoms of CHD, these include: chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath, pain travelling through the body, feeling faint and nausea. These symptoms often occur after someone exerts themselves,” explains Davison.
However, for many, the first sign of heart disease may be a major incident. “Unfortunately, sometimes the first time someone realises they have CHD is when they have a sudden heart attack.”
Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking A Cigarette
The safety and dangers of e-cigarettes remain unclear. Many e-cigarettes contain high amounts of nicotine. And vaping may be a gateway into other forms of nicotine, like cigarettes or chewing tobacco.
E-cigarette vapors contain other damaging substances, too. Inhaling these non-nicotine vape ingredients may cause severe, sometimes deadly lung damage .
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Be Prepared For Withdrawal And Relapse
Be prepared for the challenge of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms often lessen after only 1 or 2 weeks of not smoking, and each urge to smoke lasts only a few minutes.
You can take steps to cope with withdrawal symptoms. If you feel like smoking, wait a few minutes for the urge to pass. Remind yourself of the benefits of quitting. Don’t get overwhelmedtake tasks one step at a time.
If you relapse , consider what caused the slip. Were you stressed out or unprepared for a situation that you associate with smoking? Make a plan to avoid or handle this situation in the future.
Getting frustrated with your slip will only make it harder to quit in the future. Accept that you slipped, learn from the slip, and recommit to quit smoking.
If you start smoking regularly again, don’t get discouraged. Instead, find out what you need to do to get back on track so you can meet your goals. Set a new quit date, and ask your family and friends to help you. Most people who smoke make repeated attempts to quit before doing so successfully.
Many smokers gain weight after they quit, but the average weight gain is 10 pounds or less. You can control weight gain by following a and being . Remember the bright sidefood smells and tastes better if you aren’t smoking.
Smoking And Heart Disease Risk
Smoking is a major risk factor for , a condition in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood.
When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is called .
Plaque narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to your heart muscle. The buildup of plaque also makes it more likely that blood clots will form in your arteries. Blood clots can partially or completely block blood flow.
Over time, smoking contributes to atherosclerosis and increases your risk of having and dying from heart disease, , or a .
Compared with nonsmokers, people who smoke are more likely to have heart disease and suffer from a heart attack. The risk of having or dying from a heart attack is even higher among people who smoke and already have heart disease.
For some people, such as women who use birth control pills and people who have diabetes, smoking poses an even greater risk to the heart and blood vessels.
Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. When combined with other risk factorssuch as , , and smoking further raises the risk of heart disease.
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Facts About Smoking And Heart Disease
One out of every 5 smoking-related deaths is caused by heart disease.
Women older than 35 who smoke and take birth control pills are at much greater risk for heart disease or stroke.
Cigarette smokers are 2 to 4 times more likely to get heart disease than nonsmokers.
Cigarette smoking doubles a person’s risk for stroke.
Can Smoking Weed Cause A Heart Attack
Marijuana use is on the rise, and especially recreational use among young adults according to an article by CNN, while scientific studies also confirm the same. A 2019 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention , concluded that the use of marijuana in college students has increased compared to students who smoke tobacco.
This trend of increased cannabis use has serious consequences on public health since long-term cannabis use may affect complex neuroadaptive processes, and cause other health problems.
Therefore, cannabis users might ask themselves whether smoking weed can also have cardiovascular implications and affect heart health. In order to answer this question, well dive into the effects of cannabis, and its main cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on the cardiovascular system.
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Benefits Of Quitting Smoking And Avoiding Secondhand Smoke
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart disease is to avoid tobacco smoke. Don’t ever start smoking. If you already smoke, quit. No matter how much or how long you’ve smoked, quitting will benefit you.
Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke. Don’t go to places where smoking is allowed. Ask friends and family members who smoke not to do it in the house and car.
Quitting smoking will reduce your risk of developing and dying from heart disease. Over time, quitting also will lower your risk of atherosclerosis and blood clots.
If you smoke and already have heart disease, quitting smoking will reduce your risk of , a second heart attack, and death from other chronic diseases.
Researchers have studied communities that have banned smoking at worksites and in public places. The number of heart attacks in these communities dropped quite a bit. Researchers think these results are due to a decrease in active smoking and reduced exposure to secondhand smoke.
Getting Help For Cocaine Use
Regular cocaine use increases your risk of a heart attack and stroke. Thats because cocaine can cause damage to your heart almost immediately after you begin using it, and the damage builds the longer you use the drug.
Quitting cocaine doesnt immediately reduce your risk for cardiovascular health problems, since much of the damage can be permanent. However, quitting cocaine can prevent further damage, which reduces your risk for heart-related health issues, such as a heart attack.
If youre a frequent cocaine user, or even if you only use it occasionally, seeking professional help may benefit you. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug. Repeated use can lead to dependence, even addiction. Your body may become accustomed to the effects of the drug, which may make withdrawals more difficult.
Talk with your doctor about finding help to quit the drug. Your doctor may refer you to a substance abuse counselor or a rehabilitation facility. These organizations and people can help you overcome withdrawals and learn to cope without the drug.
SAMHSAs National Helpline is available at 1-800-662-HELP . They offer around-the-clock referrals and assistance any day of the year.
You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They can help direct you to drug abuse resources and professionals.
Cocaine damages more than your heart. Other health issues the drug can cause include:
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Symptoms Of A Heart Attack
- Chest pain – in the case of a heart attack, this pain is usually sudden and doesn’t go away.
- Pain that radiates to other areas of the body, particularly the left or right arm, neck, jaw, back or stomach.
- Tightness in the chest – this may feel similar to indigestion, or be more of a ‘heavy’ feeling.
- Feeling light-headed, short of breath, sick and sweaty.
If you experience symptoms of a heart attack it is crucial that you seek urgent medical attention – if in the UK by calling 999. Whilst waiting for paramedics, sit down and try to stay as calm as possible. If you are able to, take 300 mg aspirin.
Quit Smoking And Improve Your Health
Within one day of quitting smoking:
- your heart rate slows down and your blood pressure drops slightly
- carbon monoxide is out of your blood
- oxygen levels in your blood rise.
Within two to three months:
- your ability to smell and taste improves
- your lungs regain the ability to clean themselves, so you can cough up mucus
- the blood flow to your hands and feet improves, so they wont get so cold.
Within one year:
- your risk of heart attack is greatly reduced
- if you smoked a packet of 25s a day, you would have saved over $14,000
Within two to six years:
- your risk of developing coronary heart disease returns to a similar level as that of a non-smoker.
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How Can I Avoid Smoking Again
Don’t carry a lighter, matches, or cigarettes. Keep all of these smoking reminders out of sight.
If you live with someone who smokes, ask them not to smoke around you, or better yet, to quit with you.
Don’t focus on what you’re missing. Think about the healthier way of life you’re gaining.
When you get the urge to smoke, take a deep breath. Hold it for up to 10 seconds and exhale slowly. Repeat this several times until the urge to smoke passes.
Keep your hands busy. Doodle, play with a pencil or straw, or work on a computer.
Change activities that were connected to smoking cigarettes. Take a walk or read a book instead of taking a cigarette break.
When you can, avoid places, people, and situations associated with smoking. Hang out with people who don’t smoke. Go to places that don’t allow smoking, such as the movies, museums, shops, or libraries.
Don’t substitute food or sugar-based products for cigarette smoking. Eat low-calorie, good-for-you foods or chew gum when the urge to smoke strikes so you can avoid weight gain.
Drink plenty of fluids, but limit alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. They may be triggers that make you want to smoke.
Exercise. It helps you burn off stress and relax. Consider starting a fitness program before you quit.
Get support for quitting. Tell people about your progress. Be proud of what you’re doing!
Work with your doctor to make a plan using over-the-counter nicotine-replacement aids or prescription medication.
Smoking And Heart Disease
Most people know that smoking increases your risk for lung cancer. But what many people dont realize, is that it is also a major risk factor for heart disease.
There is nothing good about smoking and its effect on the heart.
The chemicals from smoking can damage the lining of your arteries, causing inflammation, which can result in narrowing. These chemicals can also cause the blood to become more sticky, which increases the likelihood of clots forming inside the arteries. Smoking also raises your heart rate and blood pressure. All of this additional stress can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke.
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What Is Heart Disease And Stroke
Heart disease and stroke are cardiovascular diseases .1
Heart disease includes several types of heart conditions. The most common type in the United States is coronary heart disease , which is narrowing of the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart.2,3 This can cause:
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, causing brain tissue to die.7 Stroke can cause disability 8 or death.
Tobacco Responsible For 20% Of Deaths From Coronary Heart Disease
Every year, 1.9 million people die from tobacco-induced heart disease, according to a new brief released today by the World Health Organization, World Heart Federation and the University of Newcastle Australia ahead of World Heart Day, marked on 29 September.
This equates to one in five of all deaths from heart disease, warn the reports authors, who urge all tobacco users to quit and avoid a heart attack, stressing that smokers are more likely to experience an acute cardiovascular event at a younger age than non-smokers.
Just a few cigarettes a day, occasional smoking, or exposure to second-hand smoke increase the risk of heart disease. But if tobacco users take immediate action and quit, then their risk of heart disease will decrease by 50% after one year of not smoking.
Given the current level of evidence on tobacco and cardiovascular health and the health benefits of quitting smoking, failing to offer cessation services to patients with heart disease could be considered clinical malpractice or negligence. Cardiology societies should train their members in smoking cessation, as well as to promote and even drive tobacco control advocacy efforts, said Dr Eduardo Bianco, Chair of the World Heart Federation Tobacco Expert Group.
The brief also shows that smokeless tobacco is responsible for around 200 000 deaths from coronary heart disease per year. E-cigarettes also raise blood pressure increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Smoking Damages The Heart And Blood Vessels
The heart relies on a generous supply of oxygen and nutrients from the coronary arteries and their branches. Over the time, fatty deposits can build up inside one or more of the coronary arteries . This narrowing of the arteries reduces the flow of blood to the heart and increases the risk of heart attack. Smoking speeds up the clogging and narrowing of coronary arteries.
A heart attack occurs when a blood clot forms at a narrowed point in a coronary artery and suddenly blocks the flow of blood to the heart. If the artery remains blocked, the lack of blood supply permanently damages the area of heart muscle supplied by that artery. The severity of the heart attack depends on how much heart muscle is permanently damaged.
Smoking also damages other blood vessels. This peripheral arterial disease can reduce blood circulation, particularly to your hands and feet, and result in blood clots, gangrene and even amputation.
Smoking And Cardiovascular Disease
The American Heart Association says diseases caused by smoking kill more than 440,000 people in the U.S. each year. Most new smokers are children and teens. Smokers have higher risk for lung disease. This includes lung cancer and emphysema. They also have increased risk for heart disease and stroke.
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Why You Should Quit Smoking Right Now
Once again, it cannot be over-emphasized that many of the adverse effects of smoking occur acutely right after you light up. And your chances of having an acute heart attack will actually diminish within a few days after your last smoke.
So, not only should you quit smoking, you should quit smoking as soon as you possibly can.
It’s Never Too Late To Quit
If you smoke and you’re thinking about quitting, know that it’s never too late to quit. Regardless of your age or how many years you’ve smoked, research has shown that your body will begin the healing process within 20 minutes of your last cigarette.
Within one year of quitting smoking, your risk for coronary artery disease drops to half that of someone who smokes.
Between 5 and 15 years of quitting, your risk of coronary disease and stroke drops to that of nonsmokers.
Trying to quit smoking isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. The encouraging news is that according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , more than three out of every five people who have ever smoked cigarettes in the United States have quit. You can, too.
There are many strategies that may help manage the stress associated with quitting and help you deal with cravings, such as:
- Getting some exercise
- Reaching out to your support system
- Speaking with a counselor or joining a support group
Healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with stress are also good for heart health, so it’s a win-win.
There are also medications that can help you quit. Consult with your healthcare provider about your desire to quit. They can help you find what works best for you.
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