Health

Two more studies find that e-cigarettes increase the risk of heart disease as much as regular cigarettes

Two more studies find that e-cigarettes increase the risk of heart disease as much as regular cigarettes

Vaping causes ‘worrying changes’ in blood pressure, heart rate and fitness levels in people, research shows.

Two new government-funded studies show that these changes occur even faster in e-cigarette users than in traditional tobacco smokers, a worrying sign.

Vaping was previously considered a safer alternative to cigarettes, which dramatically increase the risk of lung cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions.

But mounting evidence in recent years suggests that electronic alternatives cause similar harm in the body.

In a study published today, experts found that using cigarettes and smoking causes the heart rate to increase 15 minutes after use and puts the body in ‘fight or flight’ mode.

Both groups also had a narrowed brachial artery, which is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the arm and hand.

High blood pressure and narrowed arteries can deprive the heart of oxygen-rich blood and increase the risk of heart disease over time.

In another study, researchers conducted a series of cardiovascular tests after having participants run on a treadmill for 90 minutes.

Those who smoked or had smoked performed significantly worse on all measures, including how quickly heart rate recovered after exercise and how hard the heart had to work at peak levels.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Christina Hughey of the University of Wisconsin, said: ‘The exercise performance of those who smoked was not significantly different from people who used combustible cigarettes, even though they had smoked for fewer years than people who smoked and were much younger.’

Researchers found that vapers had as much heart damage as cigarette users, although they tended to be younger and spent less time using the devices on average (file image)

Researchers found that vapers had as much heart damage as cigarette users, although they tended to be younger and spent less time using the devices on average (file image)

Vapes can damage the heart by restricting the airways and reducing the amount of oxygen pumped into the blood.  Tests found users had weaker hearts and took longer to recover from exercise (photo)

Vapes can damage the heart by restricting the airways and reducing the amount of oxygen pumped into the blood. Tests found users had weaker hearts and took longer to recover from exercise (photo)

Co-leader Matthew Tattersall, assistant professor of medicine at the university, added: ‘Immediately after vaping or smoking, there were worrying changes in blood pressure, heart rate, heart rate variability and blood vessel tone (constriction).’

The results of both studies were presented at the 2022 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.

It comes amid a vaping epidemic in the US, with about 8 million adults and 2.5 million minors using the devices. More than 3 million Britons are regular users.

Although e-cigarettes are often touted as a healthy alternative to regular cigarettes – they contain many of their own harmful chemicals.

E-liquids contain nitrosamines, which have been linked to cancer, while flavored vapes often contain diacetyl, an irritant linked to the deadly condition ‘popcorn lung’.

Science is also beginning to show that devices can have just as negative an effect on heart health as smoking.

In the latest study, researchers reviewed data on 395 participants—164 vapers, 117 smokers, and 114 who had no history of nicotine, e-cigarettes, or tobacco use.

The researchers assessed blood pressure, heart rate, diameter of the brachial artery in the arm, and heart rate variability before smoking and smoking, as well as 15 minutes after.

The data showed that vapers and cigarette smokers had four beats per minute faster after vaping or smoking, while there was no change for non-users.

The study also found that smokers and non-smokers had their blood pressure rise while using the devices from 122/72 millimeters of mercury (mm HG) to 127/77 mm Hg.

Another study found that vapers had worse exercise performance than non-smokers and that this was similar to that of smokers.

The first study found that people who smoked and smoked had an average of 4 beats per minute faster than those who avoided nicotine.

More than 2.5 million children in the US use e-cigarettes - an increase of half a million from last year and a reversal of declining trends in recent years.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 2.55 million Americans in middle or high school have admitted to using a device in the past 30 days.  That's a jump of 500,000, or 24 percent, from 2021. It's the first increase since the CDC began collecting annual data in 2019.

More than 2.5 million children in the US use e-cigarettes – an increase of half a million from last year and a reversal of declining trends in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 2.55 million Americans in middle or high school have admitted to using a device in the past 30 days. That’s a jump of 500,000, or 24 percent, from 2021. It’s the first increase since the CDC began collecting annual data in 2019.

America’s vaping crisis laid bare

Vaping has reached crisis levels in the US.

About 8 million adults use vapes, while 2.6 million teenagers use them, according to official data.

Although the devices are considered a safer alternative to cigarettes, they carry many risks of their own.

The liquid in them contains harmful chemicals such as cancer-causing nitrosamines and diacetyl, which are associated with the very dangerous condition of ‘popcorn lung’.

Recent data has linked long-term use of vaping and e-cigarettes to a host of heart diseases.

This includes a recent study from the University of Louisville that found the heart rate of mice significantly decreased when exposed to smoke.

Another NIH study found that vaping increased the risk of developing heart disease at about the same rate as cigarette smoking.

dr. Tattersall added: ‘These findings suggest worse cardiovascular risk factors immediately after vaping or smoking, and activation of the sympathetic nervous system may play a role in the adverse reactions seen immediately after e-cigarette use and after physical activity testing 90 minutes later. ‘

In another study, the same participants underwent a stress test on a treadmill.

After 90 minutes on the machine, they were given four heart scans to determine the overall health of the organ.

People who smoked had an 11 percent lower score than those who did not use nicotine.

Smokers had 16 percent lower scores than the control group.

They also had a greater difference between their reserve and maximum heart rates during exercise, signaling that their hearts were working harder during exercise.

The difference between reserve heart rate and exercise heart rate was 30 percent higher among vapers and 40 percent higher among smokers.

Both smokers and drug users achieved lower cardiac workloads than their non-nicotine peers and took longer for their heart rates to return to normal after exercise.

While these findings are alarming, researchers caution that there is much more evidence of the downsides of vaping.

dr. Aruni Bhatnagar, professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, said: ‘These studies add to a growing body of science showing similar cardiovascular injury in people who use e-cigarettes and those who smoke combustible cigarettes.

‘In addition, it shows that this cardiovascular risk is present even among younger people who have a shorter history of nicotine use.’

‘People should know that e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes contain addictive nicotine and toxic chemicals that can have negative effects on their cardiovascular system and their overall health.’

dr. Bhatnagar was involved in research published last week that showed exposure to e-cigarette smoke caused a drastic reduction in heart rate in mice.

Another study funded by the National Institutes of Health last week found the blood vessels of mice narrowed when exposed to e-cigarette smoke.



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