Quitting is essential for anyone who smokes, but it's especially important for people with angina. Among other dangers, smoking causes your arteries to constrict, which can make angina worse.

Talk to your doctor about tools for quitting. Research shows that a combination approach is most effective.

Many people find it helpful to seek support in group or one-on-one counseling. Ask your doctor if over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies (gums, skin patches, inhalers and lozenges) are appropriate for you. Another option to consider is a prescription antidepressant; several are approved for smoking cessation.

Bottom line

If you exercise regularly, eat healthy and don't smoke, you are on your way to a healthier heart, says Walter Willet, M.D., chair of the Harvard School of Public Health. "These fairly simple steps can help improve angina and prevent the vast majority of heart attacks."

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at Healthcommunities.com

Published: 18 Mar 2011

Last Modified: 03 Oct 2014