Health Tip: Smoking Affects Your Heart

(HealthDay News) -- Smoking can lead to cell and tissue damage throughout your body, and experts say your heart isn't spared.

The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute says smoking can:

  • Decrease the blood's ability to carry oxygen.
  • Force the heart to work harder by raising blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Raise triglycerides (fat) and bad cholesterol, while lowering good cholesterol.
  • Affect the heart's normal rhythm.
  • Narrow blood vessel walls.
  • Increase inflammation, which can lead to increased plaque buildup in blood vessels.

-- Diana Kohnle

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