Smoking And Heart Disease

Smoking - A Major Cause of Heart Disease

Heart Disease Deaths By SmokingHeart disease has long been the number one on the leading causes of death in America list as published by the CDC.  However, of those annual victims of heart disease the CDC has compiled a report titled Smoking Attributable Mortality (SAM). This report has been updated and recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Feb. 11, ’09) and states that 126,005 mortal heart disease cases are caused primarily by smoking tobacco products as of 2004, the latest year that data is available. That equates to 20 percent of all mortal heart disease cases! This breakdown alone would make this the fourth leading cause of death in all of America!

Life Expectancy of Smokers

It’s further estimated that smoking plays a role in up to 40 percent of all mortal heart disease occurances, a full 252,000 people or 10.5% of all annual mortal events of any kind. Additional statistics show that the life expectancy of smokers is unchanged from non-smokers if they quit before they turn 30 years old, yet the life expectancy of smokers over-all is estimated to be roughly 14 years shorter than the general population. This seems to suggest that the increased risk of coronary heart disease pertaining to smoking is extremely noticeable and only so to those who haven't quit smoking entirely for at least a number of decades.

Back Smoking Out of the Stats

What I find interesting is that if you back out the smokers from the entire pool then mortal heart disease cases only account for ~25.2 percent of all mortal events because smoking is the primary cause of roughly 440,000 events combined. Smoking only inflates the percentage in 'mortal heart disease case' to 'overall mortal case' totals by about one percent. So, despite the fact that so many of these mortal cases can be easily prevented, not taking up smoking still wouldn’t change the 'cause-of...-statistics' very much other than lowering the absolute numbers a little bit.

Age Adjusted Mortality Rates For Non-Smokers

The significant change would only appear in the age-adjusted deaths-per-100,000 number which currently is at an all time low of 776.5 as reported by the CDC. Extending the lives of 440,000 people would mean increasing the life expectancies for everyone for all age groups and would probably drop this number down into the upper 600s. –Just my opinion though.-

Do you have any thoughts? It's aparent to me that not smoking can definately help you live longer and aparently the statistics indicate that quitting smoking early in life can help you live just as long as well.

Journal of the American Medical Association, Feb. 11, ’09 -
CDC - Deaths in 2006 (Final Data) -

Photo Credit
nyki m via flickr -

Leading Causes of Death

Heart Disease is easily the leading cause of death in America. One of the major contributors to heart disease is cholesterol. See the following posts for more on lowering your risk for heart disease:

How To Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels Naturally