A new study from the University of Kansas has discovered that people who vape raise the risk of heart attack by 34 percent.
This is after researchers from the university examined data from over 90,000 e-cigarette users.
The study will be presented at the American College of Cardiology conference in New Orleans later in the month. It is one of the largest studies conducted on the effects of vaping.
The study found that people who vape every day increase their chances of getting a heart attack by 34 percent compared to non-e-cigarette users. Those who vape sporadically increased their risk by 29 percent.
Dr. Mohinder Vindhyal, who led the study, said, “Until now, little has been known about cardiovascular events relative to e-cigarette use.
“These data are a real wake-up call and should prompt more action and awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes.”
He did admit that the study wasn’t perfect because most e-cigarette users were also ex-smokers so the heart problems could stem from their previous use of tobacco. However, he insisted that his team took smoking into account whenever possible, adding: “I wouldn’t want any of my patients nor my family members to vape.”
About one-third of the e-cigarette users they studied were also smokers.
The initial analysis pointed to a 56 percent increased risk of heart attack for vape users compare to those who didn’t vape. But since people who regularly smoked tobacco had a 165 percent increased heart attack risk, subsequent calculations dropped their initial assessment to roughly 34 percent.
E-cigarette users were also 55 percent more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression.
Dr. Vindhyal did acknowledge that they could not completely discount the impact of previous tobacco use as practically all e-cigarette users in the study used to smoke tobacco.
Even so, he insisted that the findings are still a cause for concern and more research is needed.
“We found that regardless of how frequently someone uses e-cigarettes, daily or just on some days, they are still more likely to have a heart attack or coronary artery disease,” he said.
E-cigarettes consist of a liquid form of nicotine that when heated transform into the vapor that is inhaled and avoids the harm that tobacco smoke causes. In the decade that e-cigarettes have been on the market in Britain, around 3 million adults have used them.
Many health experts in the UK, as well as Public Health England, see e-cigarettes as crucial in fighting against tobacco.
However, other experts, particularly cardiologists, have pointed to unresolved safety concerns and their widespread use among the youth. Critics regularly say the UK is “way out of step with the rest of the world” when it comes to e-cigarettes.
In fact, last month Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), was so concerned about teenagers using the devices that he considered banning e-cigarettes outright.
Around the same time, the New England Journal of Medicine carried an editorial that warned: “While e-cigarettes are ‘safer’ than traditional cigarettes, they are not without risks.
“Evidence of effectiveness must be balanced against the short-term and long-term safety of e-cigarettes.
“E-cigarette vapor contains many toxins and exerts potentially adverse biologic effects on human cells… although toxin levels and biologic effects are generally lower than those of tobacco smoke.”
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