Question

Heart Failure

Will quitting smoking reduce my risk of heart failure?

A Answers (4)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Smoking is a major risk factor for developing heart disease. Smoking can lead to plaque build-up on the blood vessels, which can cause heart problems such as heart attacks and heart failure.

    Quitting smoking (also called smoking cessation) can both lower your risk of heart problems and your risk of dying from those heart problems. So whether you're a smoker with no known heart disease, or a smoker with a history of heart problems, quit smoking to help your heart and your lungs.
  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered

    Yes.  Quitting gradually and progressively improves the blood vessel and lung function.  Lung dysfunction and heart attacks that have already occurred, that is that are permanently set in by having structural changes, cannot be reversed.  But, even at age 65, you get much of the aging tobacco causes by quitting.

  • Definitely. There are instant effects to the body once quitting smoking. After only 20 minutes, the heart rate returns to normal, after 12 hours the carbon monoxide level in blood drops back to normal, and after just two weeks of not smoking, the heart attack risk begins to drop and the lungs start to work better. After eight weeks, cholesterol levels improve, and between 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease. In one year, the added excess risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker and after 5 years, stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker. After 15 years, risk of heart disease is back to that of a non-smoker. 
  • ARobert S Kaufmann, Internal Medicine, answered

    Quitting smoking will definitely decrease the risk of heart disease.  Unfortunately if you have heart failure which is secondary from a heart that does not pump enough blood it is typically not reversible so quitting smoking probably will not change that but it certainly will help if you have a cardiomyopathy with congestive heart failure that means it is also going to affect your lungs so obviously not smoking will help you breathe better even if you are retaining some fluid.  A lot of times heart failure comes from increased pressure in your lungs which can come from lung disease from smoking so it will help you breathe but will not change heart failure.

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