Quit Smoking and Prevent Heart Disease
February marks the start of American Heart Health Month, and it’s crucial to understand ways you can both support your heart and prevent heart disease. It’s easy to forget but it’s important to treat your heart well. Here are a few ways to keep a healthy heart and prevent heart disease.
Avoid Secondhand Smoke for a Healthy Heart.
One way you can decrease your chances of heart disease is by avoiding secondhand smoke and putting away cigarettes and other forms of smoking away permanently. Smoking can cause issues like lung cancer and other breathing-related issues. But did you know you’re also likely to develop serious heart conditions due to smoking?
Smoking and Heart Disease Statistics
According to studies, approximately 1 in 5 deaths related to smoking are caused by heart disease, and people who smoke are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop heart disease than nonsmokers.
Smoking cigarettes does more than impact your own health, too. Secondhand smoke accounts for around 34,000 nonsmoker deaths annually due to heart disease, according to the CDC.
Smoke inhalation can change the blood vessels and heart itself inside the human body, increasing the chances of a stroke and blood clotting, and it can increase your heart rate dramatically. But don’t worry, if you start the process of quitting, studies say your heart rate can start dropping around 20 minutes after your final cigarette, and four years later your chances of a stroke decrease to that of nonsmokers.
Tips to Help You Quit
The process of quitting can definitely be scary, and sometimes it can feel like taking five steps backwards for every one one step forward, but it’s a long-term decision that will benefit you for the rest of your life. In fact, you can add an extra nine years to your life if you quit smoking between the ages of 35 and 39, and the risk of cardiovascular disease decreases almost immediately.
Some great tips to start the process of quitting:
- Pick a stress-free time to quit
- Daily exercise
- Joining a local support group
- Purchasing aids like nicotine patches/gum
- Don’t give up
Heart health is a serious matter and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Here at CCMH, we take pride in our heart and vascular services including our Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery unit. If you need to set up an appointment for heart related conditions or pain, call us at 580.250.4278.
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