Smoking is devastating to the heart and vascular system

Quitting smoking has numerous benefits for our health

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Smoking is devastating to the heart and vascular system

Among the factors favoring the development of lifestyle-related cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, smoking is probably the most important. Carbon monoxide and nicotine, in particular, are mainly responsible for the negative effects on arterial vessels: the walls of the arteries stiffen, blood pressure rises, the process of formation of atherosclerotic plaques is accelerated.

Tissue oxygenation is reduced. Quitting smoking has numerous benefits, some practically immediate: within the first 2 hours there is a normalization of the heart rate and an improvement in blood pressure values. The risk of cardiovascular disease decreases 1 year after the last cigarette; after 15 years the risk is equal to that of a non-smoker.

The habitual consumption of cigarettes is a factor that increases the risk of the onset of a series of pathologies that can have a fatal outcome for the subject, which can be grouped into three subspecies: heart disease, respiratory disease and the appearance of tumor masses.

In some countries, manufacturers are required to include messages about the dangers of smoking to health in cigarette packages. In other countries, manufacturers do this voluntarily. This information excludes the manufacturers' liability for diseases caused by active smoking, and the possibility of claims for damages.

In peripheral arterial disease, atherosclerosis causes the arteries of the lower limbs to narrow: blood flow is reduced. In the early stages, pain or cramps in the calf, thigh or buttock typically occur after a certain amount of walking, which tend to subside with rest.

This symptomatology is often neglected, minimized, traced back to the ailments of age. In the more advanced stages, pain occurs even when not walking, at rest, and can be accompanied by ulcers and gangrene. Diagnosing and recognizing obliterative arterial disease of the lower limbs early is very important, as it is shown that affected individuals have a significantly increased risk of contracting cardio and cerebrovascular diseases.

Small small thickening of the wall of the vase can be realized but also more serious and complex pictures. Over time, in fact, the plaques can grow, compromising the elasticity of the vessel wall and obstructing the blood flow inside it.

The artery can become obstructed, resulting in peculiar signs of ischemic suffering depending on the characteristics of the different organs or tissues. Among the factors favoring the development of lifestyle-related cardio and cerebrovascular diseases, smoking is probably the most potent.

Carbon monoxide and nicotine, in particular, are mainly responsible for the negative effects on arterial vessels: the walls of the arteries stiffen, blood pressure rises, the process of formation of atherosclerotic plaques is accelerated. Tissue oxygenation is reduced.