According to a new study, presented at ESC Congress 2022, smoking can lead to weaker, thicker and heavier hearts. The researchers showed that the more people smoked, the worse their heart health became. And, some function can be restored if people quit the habit. Smoking clogs arteries, resulting in coronary heart disease and stroke, hence, it is best to quit the harmful habit as soon as possible.
Study author Dr. Eva Holt of Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark, said, "It is well known that smoking causes blocked arteries, leading to coronary heart disease and stroke." She further added, "Our study shows that smoking also leads to thicker, weaker hearts. It means that smokers have a smaller volume of blood in the left heart chamber and less power to pump it out to the rest of the body. The more you smoke, the worse your heart function becomes. The heart can recuperate to some degree with smoking cessation, so it is never too late to quit."
To conduct the study, researchers analysed the data of 3,874 participants between the age group of 20 to 99 years without cardiovascular disease. The average age of these people was 56 years, out of which 43 per cent were women. When to compared to non smokers group, smokers had thicker, weaker and heavier hearts. Holt said, "We found that current smoking and accumulated pack-years were associated with worsening of the structure and function of the left heart chamber -- the most important part of the heart."
She concluded, "Our study indicates that smoking not only damages the blood vessels but also directly harms the heart. The good news is that some of the damage is reversible by giving up." There are many previous studies that prove the effect of smoking on heart health. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), tobacco contributes to over eight million deaths every year. Out of which, cigarette smoking causes 50% of all avoidable deaths in people who smoke, with half of them because of atherosclerotic heart diseases like heart attack and stroke. The adverse effects of smoking on the arteries and arterial conditions such as heart attack and stroke are well established.