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(HealthDay News) -- Smoking is harmful to nearly every part of the body, but it's particularly dangerous for the heart.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says smoking:
Damages blood cells, blood vessels and affects heart function.
Increases the risk of atherosclerosis, in which plaque build-up causes narrowing of the blood vessels and increases the risk of coronary disease. Coronary disease increases the risk of heart attack, irregular heartbeat and heart failure.
Increases the risk of peripheral artery disease, which can lead to heart attack, heart disease and stroke.
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