How does smoking affect the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD)?

Updated: Mar 30, 2020
  • Author: F Brian Boudi, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Yasmine S Ali, MD, MSCI, FACC, FACP  more...
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Cessation of cigarette smoking constitutes the single most important preventive measure for CAD. As early as the 1950s, studies reported a strong association between cigarette smoke exposure and heart disease. Persons who consume more than 20 cigarettes daily have a 2- to 3-fold increase in total heart disease. Continued smoking is a major risk factor for recurrent heart attacks. [28]

Smoking is a risk factor for CVD in women and men; however, a systematic review and meta-analysis by Huxley and Woodward suggests that in some countries, smoking by women is on the rise; the study suggests that proper counseling and nicotine addiction programs should focus on young women. [29]

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