Affect the Cardiovascular System

How does smoking affect the cardiovascular system?

In posing health risks on the body's cardiovascular system, smoking:

  • Causes immediate and long-term increases in blood pressure
  • Causes immediate and long-term increases in heart rate
  • Reduces cardiac output and coronary blood flow
  • Reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the body's tissues
  • Changes the properties of blood vessels and blood cells—allowing cholesterol and other fatty substances to build up
  • Contributes to higher blood pressure and increased risk for blood clot formation
  • Damages blood vessels
  • Doubles the risk of ischemic stroke (reduced blood flow to the brain)
  • Stimulates the blood clotting process

In addition, smoking has been associated with depression and psychological distress.

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