More Bad News for Young Smokers: Arterial Damage

Teen smokers have thicker artery walls, indicating the early development of atherosclerosis, which is a chronic condition that remains asymptomatic for decades. Advanced atherosclerosis can lead to catastrophic events such as the slowing or stopping of blood flow, which then leads to the death of whatever body tissue that artery is feeding. If that artery is feeding the heart, it will result in myocardial infarction (heart attack), and if it is feeding the brain, the result is a stroke. As an adolescent, catastrophes like these are highly unlikely. But if that individual is a smoker, they may have inadvertently put their arteries on the path that can lead to disaster in the future.

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