High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
Smoking increases our blood pressure. Cigarettes contain many health damaging chemicals.
This combines with the haemoglobin in red blood cells which reduces the amount of oxygen they can carry. To compensate for this the heart has to increase the amount of times it contracts which increases blood pressure.
Again, nicotine causes high blood pressure by demanding that the heart contracts more to provide for the oxygen and blood starved tissues.
A poor diet can lead to heart disease, if your diet is high in saturated fats and salts, the risk of heart disease is increased.
Saturated fats cause a build up of cholesterol in the arteries, which eventually prevents blood travelling through the arteries. Cholesterol is required for making cell membranes but the excess builds up and causes plaques on the artery walls. This narrows the arteries, restricting the blood flow, which could eventually lead to a heart attack.
High salt intake levels can also increase blood pressure, as you need salt as a part of your diet it is difficult to determine how much salt we actually need. Too much salt results in high blood pressure which increases the risk of artery damage, which again encourages the build up of plaque on the artery walls, causing a heart attack.
The heart muscle is supplied with blood by the coronary arteries. If these become narrowed, blood flow to the heart is restricted and the heart muscle receives less oxygen. A thrombosis (blood clot) can also be responsible for restricted blood flow. If a thrombosis does occur in a narrow artery, blood flow to the heart can be potentially blocked off completely which would cut off an entire section of the heart from an oxygen supply. Causing a heart attack.