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?

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

  • DeTar Hospital Navarro is the area's first hospital recognized by the American College of Cardiology as an Accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and Resuscitation. PCI stands for percutaneous coronary intervention - also sometimes called coronary angioplasty. This designation means we use PCI as the primary treatment for acute heart attacks.
  • Our cardiac rehabilitation department is accredited by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
  • We received Gold recognition from the American Heart Association for the Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI. An NSTEMI, or non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, is a type of heart attack. Recognition through this program means that we successfully adopted and continue to maintain quality guidelines that support higher quality care for heart attack patients.
  • We have received Gold Plus recognition from the American Heart Association for the Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center. This recognition means we achieved an 85% or higher composite adherence to all quality achievement indicators.
  • Texas Department of State Health Services designated Primary Stroke Facility.
  • The Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center.
  • DeTar Healthcare System is the recipient of The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® for Hospital Accreditation, which reflects our commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.

Our Cardiac Services Include:

  • 24-hour interventional cardiology and CV surgery coverage
  • Procedures to help prevent strokes caused by blood clots
  • Cardiac rehabilitation that combines education, support and exercise therapy
  • Cardioversions to restore normal heart rhythms
  • Coronary artery interventions that include balloon angioplasty and stent placement for blocked arteries
  • Dedicated, experienced interventional cardiologists, board certified in cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology and internal medicine
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary emboli (PE) treatments
  • Diagnostic and imaging technology to find heart disease early (when it's most treatable)
  • Electrophysiology procedures to treat heart rhythm disorders (AFib)
  • Less invasive pacemaker procedures using a leadless pacemaker
  • Open heart surgeries, including coronary bypass
  • Transesophageal echocardiograms (TEE), echocardiograms (ECHO) and cardiac stress tests to see how well the heart is working
  • Treatments for chronic and new-onset atrial fibrillation (AFib)

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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