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Heart Attack and Smoking

The Effects of Smoking on Heart Attacks

Cigarette smoking greatly increases the risk of fatal and nonfatal heart attacks in both men and women. Heavy smokers are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack than nonsmokers. The heart attack death rate among all smokers is 70 percent greater than among nonsmokers. 
Women who smoke and use oral contraceptives have an even greater risk of heart attack than women who smoke and do not take oral contraceptives.

Will Quitting Smoking Reduce My Risk of Having a Heart Attack?

One year after quitting smoking, the risk of heart disease drops to about one half that of current smokers and gradually returns to normal in persons without heart disease. After 15 years, the risk will be nearly that of a nonsmoker. Even among people with heart disease, the risk also drops sharply one year after quitting smoking, and it continues to decline over time, but the risk does not return to normal.
No matter how long you've been smoking, or how much you smoke, quitting will lessen your chances of having a heart attack.

Heart Attack and Smoking: Summary

If you smoke, there are some great health reasons to stop. One of these is the well documented relationship between heart attacks and smoking. Talk to your doctor about heart disease, heart attacks, and smoking. Together, you can decide on an action plan that makes the most sense for you.
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