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The Effect of Smoking on the Heart - Essay Example

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It has been proven to the satisfaction of the general medical community that there is a strong correlation between smoking and cardiovascular (and other) diseases. This article reviews some of the studies which take this reasoning further, parsing different sub-populations, and attempting to understand various elements of smoking and smoking cessation…
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The Effect of Smoking on the Heart
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Download file to see previous pages In order to demonstrate the highly-addictive properties of smoking, one study followed a cohort of men who were diagnosed with an acute, largely fatal, disease diagnosis, and others who were diagnosed with chronic, smoking-related illness. While there was some reduction in smoking, and some cessation, this behavior was not universal. This article reviews further research that is needed in order to better tailor findings about smoking and cardiovascular (and other vascular) disease, in order to understand how it correlates to specific genomic types, and to better predict who might be most susceptible to heart disease.
There is no more medical debate about whether smoking causes cardiovascular and other diseases. Despite the nearly-unanimous verdict of the medical community, the persistence of smoking behaviors requires a better understanding of who is most susceptible, and how smoking exactly affects health. Much of the research in the past has concentrated on "all-or-nothing" verdicts: non-smokers versus smokers. In fact, there are many smokers who may decide, on the basis of personal diagnoses, to reduce their smoking rather than quit altogether. New research has established that smoking reduction may have some advantages as compared to continuing to smoke at previous rates.
The enThe entire science of genomics offers, in conjunction with new clinical studies, the opportunity to better track who is susceptible and who is less likely to contract smoking-related illnesses. New diagnostic techniques may offer the opportunity to track smoking-related illnesses more exactly, giving physicians new ways of identifying and tracking the course of smoking-related illnesses.
LITERATURE REVIEW
The evidence that smoking is related to heart disease has existed for several decades. Recent work has attempted to better understand the mechanisms by which smoking influences heart disease, and to vary the types of smoking exposure in order to determine degree of severity of cardiovascular damage and the amount and timing of smoking.
According to Terry Martin, there are no "easy" or lighter ways to prevent the deleterious effect of smoking (Martin). Low-tar cigarettes are no better than regular cigarettes. In a useful overview of literature, Martin cites the National Cancer Institute's recent study which concludes that even light cigarettes "provide no benefit to smokers' health." The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) concluded that, while smoking increases the chances of contracting heart disease, smoking cessation can lengthen one's quality of life-years, but not to the same extent as if one had not smoked at all (Iso). This study, which was performed on Asians, found that the best benefits to reduction of heart disease occurred 10-14 years after cessation. Note that the Japanese population studied generally has a much lower rate of heart disease than Caucasians or African-Americans. One should be cautious, therefore, in tying these results to those expected with different populations.
That there is a link is indisputable. For example, an article in the "Journal of Behavioral Medicine" in 2005 recounts the study of smokers from age ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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