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Health risks for smoking women

Smoking women can discover thousands of articles about smoking consequences such as damage of reproductive system (including female hormones), heart diseases, various cancers (lung, mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, kidney, and bladder) and respiratory diseases. But every smoking woman thinks “It is just general threatening information and if I smoke a little bit, nothing can happen”.

Question is what are the real risk factors for smoking women, what most common consequences are and what every smoking woman should know.

Smoking and Reproductive Health

It is well known that smoking can damage women reproductive health. Very often smoking women experience menstrual dysfunctions and have trouble getting pregnant. Smoking women enter menopause much younger and experience more severe menopause symptoms. Smoking can be a cause of different types of problems during pregnancy – smoking can hurt both mother and baby. Smoking women are also at increased risk of having miscarriages and/or stillbirth. Discover everything about Smoking and Reproductive Health on next page.

Smoking and Bone health

Smoking causes a significant increase in the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis. Smoking women often experience the loss of bone density – 10-11% more than non-smoking women. It is becoming more important after 50 (period of menopause) – when all women are at risk of osteoporosis.

Bone density is very important for bones health. Annual bone density scanning is strongly recommended to smoking women.

Smoking and Heart Disease

Every year about 35000 smoking women die from ischemic heart disease. The majority of cases were noted in women after 55 but young smoking women are also at high risk.

Researchers discovered that smoking women are at greater risk of heart attack over men smokers because of interaction of female hormones (mainly estrogen) with the toxic elements found in cigarettes.

Women’s risk of heart disease and heart attack greatly increases with the number of smoked cigarettes. Smoking duration is also very important – long smokers are at higher risk of heart attack. Women who smoke a full pack of cigarette every day have more than twice the risk of heart attack than non-smoking women.

Special attention should be paid to smoking women who use birth control pills – their risk of heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease increases several times.

Health risks for smoking women

Smoking elements (especially nicotine) increase the risk of heart diseases through:

  • Decreased oxygen transportation to the heart;
  • Increased blood pressure and faster heart rate;
  • Increasing blood clotting; and
  • Damaged cells that line coronary arteries and other blood vessels.

Smoking and Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death due to smoking. Toxic elements of the cigarettes accelerate the hardening and narrowing process in arteries – when the arteries narrow (atherosclerosis), blood clots are likely to form. Blood clots in the heart and brain are the most common causes of sudden death.

Cardiovascular disease can take many forms depending on which blood vessels are involved. Coronary thrombosis and/or cerebral thrombosis are the most common and most dangerous risk factors for smoking women.

Blood cloths in kidney arteries can cause high blood pressure and/or kidney failure. Blockage to the vascular supply to the legs may lead to gangrene and amputation.

Smoking and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a term for group of conditions that block airflow and make breathing more difficult. Smoking is the most common cause of COPD. Medical professionals observe COPD in smoking women between the ages of 35 and 45 when lung function starts to decline.

It is important to mention that the lung damage from COPD is permanent, but quitting smoking at any age and at any stage of disease can reduce the risk and improve the lung capacity.

Main symptom of COPD is the breathing problems – when lung function declines, breathlessness begins.

Smoking and Cervical Cancer

It is well known that all women recommended to make annual Pap-test for prevention and early diagnosis of the cervical cancer. This recommendations is becoming the “must programme” for smoking women because smoking is a risk factor for cervical cancer.

Chemicals found in cervical tissue during cervical cancer are very similar to toxic elements found in cigarettes. Scientists suggested that smoking toxic elements could weaken the ability of cervical cells to fight off infection and may create a potential breeding ground for abnormal cervical cells to multiply.

Smoking and Breast Cancer

Researchers discovered that the possible risk of fatal breast cancer rises in smoking women – up to 70-75% for women who smoke two packs or more per day.

At the same time scientists noted that if women quit smoking, their risk for breast cancer is becoming the same like in non-smoking women.

Presently clear mechanism of smoking influence at breast cells is in the process of investigations.

Smoking and Vulvar Cancer

Vulval cancer is one of very difficult and devastating types of cancer in women.

It was proved that smoking women experience a 40% higher risk of developing of vulvar cancer.


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