Cardiovascular disease claims more lives each year than cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, accidents and diabetes combined. The two most common types of cardiovascular disease, disease of the heart and cerebrovascular disease or stroke, account for more deaths than any other cause in Maine.
Cigarette smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by itself. When it acts with other factors, it greatly increases risk, causing the following:
Cigarette smoking combined with a family history of heart disease also seems to greatly increase the risk. Studies show that cigarette smoking is an important risk factor for stroke, and women who take oral contraceptives and smoke increase their risk of stroke many times.
Find more information about the risks of CVD and smoking from the CVD Fact Sheet.