Major Risk Factors: Smoking
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute lists Smoking as one of the major risk factors for heart disease.
Smoking is “the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women who smoke are two to six times more likely to suffer a heart attack than nonsmoking women, and the risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked each day. Smoking can also shorten a healthy life, because smokers are likely to suffer a heart attack or other major heart problem at least 10 years sooner than nonsmokers.
Currently, about 20 percent of American women are smokers. The younger people start smoking, the more likely they are to become strongly addicted to nicotine. There is simply no safe way to smoke. Low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes do not lessen the risks of heart disease or other smoking-related diseases. The only safe and healthful course is not to smoke at all.