As per the statistics shared by World Health Organization, every year 17.5 million people suffer from cardiac ailments. Dr Pramod Kumar, Director and HOD, Cardiology, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi explains how smoking can affect your heart health and also put your family and friends at risk of cardiovascular diseases.
When you smoke, chemicals released from the cigarette affects the blood composition; making it thicker and thus, more prone to formation of blood clots.
Smoking damages the lining of the blood vessels and causes an increase in the fatty deposits in the arteries which eventually lead to blood clotting. It adversely affects blood lipid levels and promotes coronary heart disease.
Nicotine leads to high blood pressure and an increase in the heart rate, which further puts you at risk of heart attack and stroke. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), a smoker is two to four times likelier to suffer from coronary artery disease and stroke than a non-smoker.
If a person quits smoking for 15 years, their risk of a heart attack falls to the same level as those who have never smoked. Also, people who quit smoking after having a heart attack reduce their chances of having another one by 50%.
Passive smoking affects 6, 00,000 children. Also known as second-hand smoke, it also reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood and puts your kids at risk of cardiovascular disease at a later stage of life.