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Women's Risk from Smoking
Joe Piscatella posted:
Smoking is a primary risk for heart disease and lung cancer. In the past, however, it was assumed that the risk increase hit men and women equally. Not so.

Data from 86 studies show that smoking increases the risk of heart disease 25% more in women than in men, and doubles the risk of women developing lung cancer compared to men.
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cardiostarusa1 responded:
And while on the subject of smoking in general, male/female, as reported, smoking increases the circulating levels of catecholamines and free fatty acids, which may contribute to the increased level of total cholesterol and decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein ("good" cholesterol) that are found in habitual cigarette smokers.

The effects on platelets may enhance coagulation (blood clotting). There can be accelerated coronary and peripheral vascular disease, and occurrence of a dreaded stroke and complications from hypertension.

The greatest concern is the acceleration or aggravation of cardiovascular disease. Smoking can promote atherosclerotic vascular disease by contributing to high cholesterol, endothelial injury (damaging the sensitive inner lining of the walls of the arteries), or both.

Complications of hypertension are more severe in those who smoke cigarettes. Smoking can also aggravate hypertension by causing vasoconstriction (tightening of the vessels).

After You Quit Smoking - The First 2 Days

Quit Smoking Benefits - the Healing Begins...When you quit smoking, the benefits begin within minutes of your last...

At 20 minutes after quitting:

Blood pressure decreases, pulse rate drops...

USA Today

Just one cigarette can harm DNA, Surgeon General says


"Tobacco smoke damages almost every organ in your body," says Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. In someone with underlying heart disease, she says, "One cigarette can cause a heart attack." .
And while on the subject of women -

WOMEN & Heart Attack

The whole disease is poorly understood in women, from the expression of the symptoms all the way down to some of the basic mechanisms. The disease has a very broad spectrum, and more men are at one side and more women are at the other side.


WOMEN and Coronary Artery Dsease (CAD)

60% of women who die suddenly (sudden cardiac death) from CAD have no previous symptoms. Women are less likely to notice they have a heart problem. Women with heart disease often have symptoms different from men, instead of classic chest pain or pressure (angina pectoris), they may report dyspnea, fatigue, indigestion and anxiety. Making an accurate diagnosis of heart disease in women is often more challenging than it is in men.

_ . _

Heart attack

It is reported that many females experience warning signs/symptoms a month or two in advance. In descending order of occurrence, they are unusual tiredness or fatigue, sleep disturbance, dyspnea, indigestion, anxiety, racing heart and weak/heavy arms. During actual heart attacks, symptoms reported in females, in descending order were dyspnea, weakness, unusual fatigue, cold sweat, dizziness, nausea and weak/heavy arms.



Haylen_WebMD_Staff responded:
I'm shocked by the women who still smoke! Proof that nicotine is a powerful substance.

For any community members ready to quit, please visit:

Smoking Cessation Health Center

A wealth of amazing resources including tools, strategy planning and relapse avoidance information.

James Beckerman, MD, FACC responded:
And the good news is that stopping smoking decreases your future risk of a heart attack significantly - another great reason to quit!

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Expert Blog

The Heart Beat - James Beckerman, MD, FACC

Dr. James Beckerman shares how small, livable lifestyle changes can have a real impact on your risk of heart attack and stroke...Read More

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For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center