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Smoking more than one pack of cigarettes a day increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Smoking more than one pack of cigarettes a day increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 70%-80%, and smoking more than two packs per day increases the risk by 200%. Passive smoke increases the risk by 30%. The following is a list of the known pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for the increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in active or passive smoking.

* Increasing platelet adhesion and aggregation, increasing risk of thrombosis.

* Increasing blood viscosity.

* Increasing serum fibrinogen concentration, increasing risk of thrombosis.

* Damaging vascular endothelium (eg, from carbon monoxide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).

* Oxidizing LDL, increasing risk of atherosclerosis.

* Reducing HDL concentration.

* Increasing oxygen demand of the myocardium while simultaneously reducing the blood's capacity for carrying oxygen.

From Keil U: Coronary artery disease: the role of lipids, hypertension and smoking. Basic Res Cardiol 2000 (Suppl I); 95:152-158.
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Publication:Southern Medical Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2002
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