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Smoking even a single cigarette can make the heart "stiffen" and not relax normally between contractions, researchers say. The Arizona Daily Star reported May 16 that a cardiac imaging study at the University of Arizona reveals that any amount of smoking can be dangerous. Read and find out more.

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A Single Cigarette Causes Heart Dysfunction

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Single Cigarette Causes Heart Dysfunction

JoinTogether.org

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Smoking even a single cigarette can make the heart "stiffen" and not relax normally between contractions, researchers say.

The Arizona Daily Star reported May 16 that a cardiac imaging study at the University of Arizona reveals that any amount of smoking can be dangerous. "What we found is that with just one puff of a cigarette, we see changes in the way the heart relaxes between contractions. It seems to stiffen -- it does not have the vigorous motion it should have," said researcher Vincent Sorrell of the University of Arizona. "And we know that failure to relax properly is an early marker for heart failure."

Karen Martin, manager of Tucson's antismoking program, said she will use the information in her prevention messages. "This dramatically demonstrates how you damage over and over again the vital organs that keep the whole body going," she said. "Our cessation people enjoy passing along the latest information on what smoking does to you. The smokers always say, 'Yeah, yeah, we've heard it all,' but this is new evidence they need to hear."

Researchers decided to conduct the imaging tests after noticing that smokers often complain of shortness of breath, but have normal test results in the doctor's office. "I thought maybe there is something going on transiently while they are smoking, but later, at the doctor's office ...

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