How Does Smoking Affect Your Heart?

Health risks of smoking are widely known, and its connection to breathing problems and lung cancer is prominent. But smoking's impact reaches far beyond your lungs. Cigarette smoking harms nearly every other organ in your body, including your heart.

In general, smoking causes blood to thicken, increasing the risk of blood clots and damage to blood vessel walls. This can lead to a condition called atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries, eventually narrowing them and limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart. Smoking also can cause heart disease or eventually lead to chest pain, heart failure or a heart attack.

According to a multi-study analysis by The BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal), smoking as little as one cigarette per day carries a 50% higher risk of developing coronary artery disease and 30% higher risk of stroke compared to those who have never smoked. When combined with other unhealthy lifestyle factors such as unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and obesity, the risk for heart disease grows even more.

The good news is that heart disease risk drops dramatically within the first year a person quits smoking. Quitting smoking can even lower your risk more than common medicines used to lower heart disease risk, such as aspirin or beta blockers.

Whether you're a constant smoker, trying to quit or previously have quit, learn more about your risk factors for developing heart disease by taking our heart health assessment. You'll find out your heart's real age and what you can do now to reduce your risk of developing heart disease in the future.

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Why Choose Us?

  • Bravera Health Seven Rivers is an Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI (American College of Cardiology)
  • Bravera Health Seven Rivers is the first and only Accredited Chest Pain Center in Citrus County
  • Primary PCI coverage is available 24/7 every day of the year
  • Awarded Heart Failure Accreditation by the American College of Cardiology for our ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with heart failure.

Our knowledgeable, compassionate and experienced cardiac care teams are dedicated to providing complete heart care services - from helping you create a heart-healthy lifestyle to performing lifesaving procedures in emergency situations.

Bravera Health's network of seven hospitals is integrated to give our patients access to quality clinical knowledge, dedicated to providing advanced treatments and technology, and routinely recognized nationally for our quality of care.

Our Services Include:

  • Diagnostic and imaging technology to find heart disease early, when it's most treatable
  • Cardiac Catheterization to both diagnose and treat heart disease
  • Heart and vascular rehabilitation that combines education, support and exercise therapy

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking special precautions to keep our offices and other care environments safe for every patient.

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