The harm of tobacco smoking on the cardiovascular system is complex and diverse. During smoking, the heartbeat quickens after the first puff. A healthy human heart beats 70 times per minute, and during smoking - 80-90 times per minute. One heartbeat surpasses 60-70 milliliters of blood, at 70 beats per minute, the heart will pump 4-6 liters of blood, 300 liters in 1 hour, and over 7,000 liters in 24 hours. Now imagine that the heart beats 85 times per minute instead of 70 times, which is 21% more.
By simple calculations, we can determine that the heart has to pump 8,470 liters of blood in 24 hours, which is almost 1,500 liters more than in normal conditions.
That’s the additional burden that our heart needs to carry!
If a person is healthy, this burden on the heart is not too heavy, but if a person has a heart condition, then the burden is carried with difficulty. Experiments showed that during smoking, the adrenal glands secrete hormonal substances that can cause high blood pressure. This further increases the burden on the heart.
The heart expends more energy to surpass blood through significantly reduced blood vessels. While the diameter of the vessels reduces, the blood flow to organs worsens, and the temperature of skin decreases. Inhalation of carbon monoxide increases the content of carboxyhemoglobin in the blood of smokers, which impairs oxygen supply to the heart muscle.
Scientists have found that smoking contributes to the development of atherosclerosis. An important role here is played by the increase of catecholamine products that appear during smoking. Catecholamines contribute to an increase in the concentration of lipids (fatty substances) in the blood, which may cause the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in blood vessels. It is also known that toxic substances from tobacco smoke in the blood prevent absorption of vitamin C, the deficiency of which causes the deposition of cholesterol on the walls of blood vessels, which narrows the vessels.
Poor blood supply to the heart leads gradually to its fatty degeneration. Thus, smoking may cause atherosclerosis, which, in turn, can lead to increased incidence of coronary heart disease. Coronary diseases include all heart diseases and disorders associated with a sharp decrease (general or localized) of blood flow in the blood vessels that feed the heart.