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Smoking Linked To Thicker And Weaker Heart, Says New Study

Studies say that cigarette smoking is a major contributor to heart-related diseases and an overall increase in mortality. More than 30 per cent of deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD) are attributable to either active smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. Although the direct link between smoking and cardiovascular injury is poorly understood, smoking does cause negative effects on endothelial functions of the heart for a longer time. [1]

Among many pre-existing studies on the link between smoking and cardiovascular diseases, a new one has recently been added. On Thursday, researchers issued a new warning that smoking causes bigger, weaker hearts.

Take a look at the details.

What Does The Study Say?

In the study, it was found that the heart health of the participants deteriorated as the level of smoking increased. When people finally give up their addiction, their bodies begin to heal.

The research author, Dr Eva Holt of Herlev and Gentofte Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, said that the left ventricle of a smoker's heart has a lower volume of blood and less strength to pump blood throughout the body. He added that it is never too late to quit smoking, as the functionality of the heart can recuperate up to a certain degree when smoking is stopped.

Holt presented the same in a report given at the ESC Congress 2022. [2]

Results From The Study

The newly published study looked at the effects of quitting smoking and whether or not smoking is linked to structural and functional changes in the heart in adults without cardiovascular disease.

A total of 3,874 healthy adults aged 20 to 99 were included in the study. On average, the participants were 56 years old, and 43% of them were female.

Current smokers had hearts that were bigger, weaker, and heavier than those of never smokers.

Holt says, "We observed that current smoking and accumulated pack-years were associated with worsening of the structure and function of the left heart chamber," which is the heart's most vital chamber.

He added that fewer blood pumps were used by those with more pack years (one pack per day of 20 cigarettes for one year is equal to one pack year).

Additionally, the researchers observed that long-term smokers had hearts that were bigger, heavier, and weaker than those of never smokers and quitters, resulting in a reduced ability to pump blood.

The study brings to light that smoking has direct negative effects on the heart in addition to its negative effects on the circulatory system.

However, the study concluded with the good news that if one quits smoking, one can undo some of the harm.

To Conclude

This is clear evidence that smoking causes and worsens heart conditions. Quitting smoking may not only help improve the health of the heart but may also lead to a disease-free life for longer.

Story first published: Saturday, August 27, 2022, 15:18 [IST]
Read more about: smoking heart cardiovascular
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