Smoking and heart health: Tobacco damages heart structure – Medical News Today

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Share on PinterestNew research suggests that smoking directly affects the heart. Image credit: sankai/Getty Images.

  • Over 8 million people globally die each year from tobacco use.
  • Researchers from Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Copenhagen found that smoking weakens the structure of the heart, affecting how well it functions.
  • The research team also found that quitting smoking helped the heart recuperate.

Tobacco use, including smoking, claims more than 8 million lives around the world each year.

Past research shows that smoking has a negative impact on a person’s blood vessels — more than 30% of deaths from coronary heart disease occur from active smoking or secondhand smoke exposure.

Smoking doubles a person’s heart attack risk and triples their stroke risk.

Now, researchers from Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, have found evidence suggesting that smoking not only impacts a person’s blood vessels but also weakens the structure of the heart itself, impacting how well it functions.

The researchers recently presented their findings at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2022.

Past research shows that smoking negatively impacts a person’s blood vessels, potentially causing heart issues.

For example, the nicotine in cigarettes can cause blood vessels to narrow, limiting the amount of blood allowed to flow through them. Nicotine can also demonstrably increase a person’s blood pressure.

“We know that smoking causes coronary artery disease and heart failure,” explained Dr. Eva Holt of Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark, lead author of this study.

“But the aim of this study was to investigate if smoking had an independent effect on cardiac structure and function in a large general population without known heart disease,” she specified.

Dr. Holt and her team evaluated data from over 3,800 participants of the fifth Copenhagen City Heart Study. This study examined cardiovascular diseases and risk factors in the general population. Study participants ranged in age from 20 to 93 years and did not have a history of heart disease.

Data collected during the study …….


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