The heart is the superhero that keeps us alive. It is the most important structure of the circulatory system and acts as a pump that drives blood throughout the body. In this way, oxygen and nutrients reach all organs and tissues.
It is the muscle that performs more physical work in the body. By pumping the blood with a speed of 1.6 meters, the human heart generates energy to move a vehicle for 32 kilometres. According to data from the Spanish Heart Foundation, it pumps 5 liters of blood every minute.
And like every hero, the heart also has enemies that seek to end it. Among the most deadly, cardiologist Herbert Vides points to smoking, cholesterol and sedentary lifestyle. Its lethal characteristics are the following:
Tobacco kills more people than if they join all deaths from HIV, alcoholism and traffic accidents around the world.
One in five people dies from causes associated with smoking.
Its toxins are what makes it so lethal. It contains more than 70 substances associated with cancer, including:
- Carbon monoxide
Tobacco reduces life expectancy by at least 10 years and triples the level of stress experienced in the daily trajín.
Nicotine has a constrictor vessel effect, that is, it reduces the diameter of the blood vessels, therefore, hinders circulation.
Tobacco also reduces concentrations of good cholesterol and increases those of bad cholesterol.
This vice also favors the concentration of blood clots.
Quitting smoking increases the life expectancy if this dangerous vice is abandoned before the age of 40.
- Obesity predisposes and facilitates the development of diabetes.
- Obese people handle high amounts of lipids and triglycerides in the blood. This makes them prone to suffer a heart attack.
- Obesity also predisposes human being to suffer from high blood pressure.
- Having a prominent abdomen is synonymous with the accumulation of fat in the abdomen. This releases excess fatty acids in the blood, which affects the metabolism of the liver. This, in turn, affects the ability of tissues to respond to insulin, which increases blood sugar levels. This, in turn, damages the innermost layer of blood vessels and hardens them. This hinders the passage of blood and increases the risk of suffering an arterial obstruction.
- The zero physical activity generates obesity and obesity predisposes the human being to suffer a heart attack.
- A heart that is not accustomed to physical activity will not be able to respond to a situation of stress or a lot of activity and could collapse.
- An obese person tends to accumulate more inflammatory and harmful substances for the heart.
- A sedentary person has a higher risk of hypertension and respiratory diseases.
- It is also more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up within the arteries. Plaque is a sticky substance composed of fat, cholesterol and calcium, among other substances found in the blood.
Read More: What happens if you smoke with Asthma?
The cardiologist Herbert Vides emphasizes that the way to protect the heart against these attacks is a real life change. “Albert Einstein already said ‘madness is doing the same thing over and over again hoping to get different results. If you want different results, do not do the same’. Radically changing the lifestyle and harmful habits is the only way to escape from a fatal destiny”, concludes the expert.