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How much valid information is there linking smoking to heart disease?

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Quick Answer

There is a lot of information in the form of research studies and papers that notice the correlation between smoking and the development of heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, The American Heart Association (AHA) maintains a Web page explaining that smokers have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular conditions, like atherosclerosis.

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Full Answer

Heart disease is one of the many potential complications of long-term smoking and secondhand smoke. Going back to the early 1970s, there are reports released by the United States Surgeon General stating there was a connection between smoking and premature death. One of the causes of those early deaths included cardiovascular disease. In 2008, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report showing that smoking was the cause of 20 percent of deaths in the U.S. from ischemic heart disease. In fact, numerous studies have shown that smoking is a bigger risk factor for developing heart disease than other potential risks, such as age and family history. The increased risk remain evident even when adjustments were made in the studies to account for other risk factors in smokers versus nonsmokers.

Smoking is an increased risk alone, but the major problems start when it interacts with other risk factors, states the AHA. Smoking raises blood pressure, increases the risk of blood clots forming and makes it more difficult to exercise. All of which, contribute to poorer cardiovascular health in the short and long run.

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