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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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How Smoking Increases Risk For Mitral Stenosis

We all know that smoking can affect your lungs in several ways. But do you know that it can also have a huge impact on your heart health? If you have a heart issue and go to a doctor, you would see that they would ask you about your smoking habits. This is because smoking can cause damage to your heart and blood vessels. Over time, your body releases a fatty deposit (plaque) which builds up inside your coronary arteries. This can obstruct blood from flowing to your heart, increasing the risk of heart attacks. Smoking speeds up the narrowing and clogging of the coronary arteries.

Smoking increases the risk of mitral stenosis in the following ways:

  • It increases the risk of heart attacks. The rate of heart attacks among smokers is twice as high as that of non-smokers.

  • Smoking not only causes heart disease, but if you have heart problems, smoking can make it worse, and at a faster rate. The chances of death also increase due to heart issues, if you are a smoker.

  • People who keep on smoking even after getting a heart attack would be more prone to get subsequent heart attacks if they keep on smoking.

  • Patients who have got a bypass surgery or stent in their heart are at a greater risk of developing new blockages in the treated heart area. This can lead to premature death, and hence, it can be said that they are at a much greater risk compared to non-smokers.

  • Mitral stenosis and coronary heart disease chances are significantly increased if you are a woman who smokes and takes contraceptive pills.

One of the major consequences of smoking is that they accelerate the development of atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of arteries. Apart from that, it also damages the cardiovascular systems in several other ways, like:

  • Tobacco has nicotine which causes an increase in the heart rate and blood pressure. You would notice that these have increased after smoking.

  • The serum homocysteine levels increase with smoking, and this causes injury to your vascular system.

  • The carbon monoxide levels in the blood vessels increase when you smoke and this can cause a reduction in the capacity of your tissues to carry oxygen. 

These effects might be caused over time, but smoking has some acute effects too. It can cause changes in your heart rate and blood pressure, which can make you ill. It has negative clotting effects and can also cause some chemical changes in the blood vessels. The acute effects on your cardiovascular health after smoking can persist for up to 72 hours.

Thus, it can be easily understood that smoking can harm your heart health in several ways. So if you are an avid smoker, try to reduce and eventually stop smoking for better health.

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