Smoking is a known risk factor for high blood pressure and heart disease, because it constricts blood vessels that move oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that smokers who have had a heart attack or stroke before have a much higher risk of multiple heart attacks and strokes years later, compared to non-smokers.
Researchers looked at around 1,800 adults who had severe narrowing of their heart’s arteries, and who had a recent heart surgery. It was found that those who continued to smoke after their surgery were twice as likely as non-smokers to have a heart attack. In addition, smokers were eight-tenths more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, and early death related to heart disease than non-smokers. Smoking greatly increases the likelihood of severe heart problems, as well as stroke, nerve damage and breathing problems related to restricted blood flow.
The risk of having a heart-related event or stroke is likely to go up in those who have had one before, since your heart is a muscle that will tend to weaken after continued stress and strain. In order to be sure your heart and the many organs it supports stays healthy and strong, experts highly encourage those with a history of heart disease (or those at risk for heart disease) to quit smoking.