Smoking and hypertension are two leading causes of preventable death worldwide. If you are a hypertensive smoker, this can wreak havoc, and you can have detrimental effects on your health with this deadly combination.
It’s not just about the lungs.
Smoking is the most significant culprit for developing lung cancer, but the harmful effects are not only confined to the respiratory system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco contains at least 7,000 chemical components, and at least 250 chemicals are proven harmful to your health. These chemicals are linked to several cancers, including cancers of mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas.
The link to hypertension
Nicotine causes the release of catecholamines, which increases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. When the sympathetic nervous system becomes activated and overworked with continuous smoking, elevated blood pressure and heart rate will ensue.
The link to coronary heart disease and stroke
Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas produced from smoking. What makes this gas harmful is that it binds 200 times more to red blood cells than oxygen, impairing the delivery of oxygen to different areas of the body such as the heart and brain. Decreased oxygen levels in the heart or brain predispose the events of having a stroke or heart attack.
Carbon monoxide also increases stress by releasing oxidative radicals and damaging the lining of your blood vessels. This harmful gas activates white blood cells to fight chronic inflammation, which increases the risk of having clots. The clots increase the risk of stroke and heart attack too.
Nicotine hardens the walls of arteries which makes the delivery of oxygen slow. The heart compensates by putting more effort to contract, causing blood pressure to increase.
The link to atherosclerosis
Chemicals in the smoke also accelerate the formation of cholesterol plaques that clog the arteries and impair the ability of cells to distribute to different parts of the body. Increasing plaques in the walls of the arteries also explain why smokers gain more weight than their non-smoker counterparts.
Other cardiovascular effects of smoking
Smoking is also a risk factor for aneurysms. Damages to the retina and end-stage renal disease brought about by longstanding hypertension are seen among smokers.
The good thing about smoking and hypertension is that both are preventable. Lifestyle changes can be done to lower blood pressure. Smoking cessation involves a combination of behavioral changes, nicotine replacement, and continuous support, especially during times of pandemic.
DrKumo offers innovative solutions in helping providers manage patients with chronic hypertension thru real-time data analytics. With remote patient monitoring and optimized telehealth management, providers can make timely interventions with continuous patient monitoring,
It takes 15 years for smokers to lessen their risk of having coronary heart disease. Secondhand smokers have the same dangers, so prevention is always better and more cost-effective than cure.
Time is always on our side: the earlier you quit, the better. If you are a smoker, you can still achieve health effects with smoking cessation. Collaborating your efforts to quit smoking and lowering your blood pressure with healthcare providers can potentially serve as an effective tool in bettering your health and wellbeing.