Why Smoking Increases Heart Disease Risk

You have probably heard that lighting up a cigarette increases your risk of cancer, but do you know why smoking and heart disease are related?

Researchers at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona may have found the answer to that question. The results of a recent study have shown that the nicotine in cigarettes leads to insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic condition that increases blood sugar levels to a higher-than-normal level.

Diabetes is one of the known risk factors for heart disease, and smokers are more likely to have this chronic condition. The researchers found that the mice involved in the study who had pre-diabetes were more likely to have high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that increases blood pressure and blood sugar. High blood pressure also puts you at risk for heart problems.

Insulin Resistance Reason Smoking Increases Risk of Heart Disease

The results of a study conducted by researchers at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona are in, and shed new light on why smoking and heart disease are related. Nicotine, a highly-addictive substance in cigarettes, promotes insulin resistance, which is a pre-diabetic condition. People with insulin resistance have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, and diabetes is recognized as a risk factor for heart disease.

Even though individuals who are insulin resistant have blood sugar levels that are elevated, their levels aren’t high enough to cause diabetes. People who smoke tend to have higher rates of diabetes, but research hasn’t yet determined whether smoking is the cause or other factors are responsible.