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Health Tips for October 13

Posted Oct 13 2011 12:00am
Health Tip: Smoking Strains the Heart

Smokers may love the habit, but tobacco smoke doesn't love the heart.

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says smoking can harm the heart in many ways, including
  • Causing thickened blood, making it more difficult for the blood to transport oxygen throughout the body.
  • Increasing blood pressure and heart rate, forcing the heart to work harder.
  • Lowering HDL ("good") cholesterol and raising LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Causing abnormal heart rhythms and an increase in inflammation, which may cause a build-up of arterial plaque.
  • Causing hardening of the artery walls, which can cause narrowing and make it more difficult for the heart to pump blood.

Health Tip: Smokeless Tobacco Isn't a Safe Alternative

Some people may think smokeless tobacco is a safer alternative to cigarettes, but experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to nip that idea in the bud.

The CDC mentions these health issues that can stem from smokeless tobacco use
  • Cancer, notably oral cancer.
  • Tooth decay, gum disease, receding gums and other oral health problems.
  • If you're pregnant, increased risk of complications, including preeclampsia, low birth weight and premature birth.
  • Fertility problems in men, including abnormal sperm and lower sperm count.
  • Addiction to nicotine and increased likelihood of becoming a cigarette smoker.
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