Smoking cigarette increases heart failure risk in African Americans

Cigarette smoking sharply increases the risk of heart failure in black men and women in the US, according to a new study.

“These findings suggest if you have heart failure or you have risk factors for heart failure such as early markers for heart damage like a thicker heart or a weak heart, you should specifically be targeted for smoking cessation strategies,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Michael E. Hall, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

In heart failure, the muscles of the heart weaken and enlarge so the organ can no longer pump blood efficiently, leading to shortness of breath and water retention. Heart failure is most often the result of damage from coronary artery disease, a buildup of fatty…

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