E-Cigarette Use May Be Linked To Increased Heart Attack Risk: Study

Although many people turn to e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to traditional smoking, new research suggests that vaping may double an individual’s risk of suffering a heart attack. 

In a study published last week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from George Washington University warn that both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes raise a person’s chance of suffering myocardial infarction. Using the two together increased their chance by five-fold.

Researchers analyzed data from the 2014 and 2016 National Health Interview Surveys, including more than 69,000 people over the age of 18. They analyzed the cross-sectional association between e-cigarette use and risk of myocardial infarction, or heart attack, as well as the risk between cigarette smoking and heart attack.

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Daily e-cigarette use was associated with double the risk of heart attack when compared to people who never vaped. Using traditional tobacco cigarettes tripled the risk of heart attack.

About two-thirds of e-cigarette users also smoke traditional tobacco cigarettes, researchers noted. Among people who used both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes their risk of heart attack was five times the rate of a nonsmoker.

Although most consumers assume that e-cigarettes are safe, this is not the first study to link vaping to heart problems. A UCLA study published in 2017 concluded e-cigarettes increased a person’s risk of suffering heart disease.

According to the findings, the risk of heart attack was also increased among e-cigarette users if they also had a history of hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes. The risk increased with age and went up for every 10 years of age, but women had lowest odds overall.

The findings also indicate that former e-cigarette users no longer had the increased risk of heart attack. However, quitting tobacco cigarettes did not provide the same relief. Former tobacco smokers still had an increased risk of heart attack, especially if they were using e-cigarettes.

Nearly 60% of smokers use e-cigarettes as a way to quit tobacco cigarettes. Yet, even after quitting tobacco cigarettes their risk of heart attack was still high, the researchers noted.

The lead author of the study warned that switching from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes does not reduce the risk of heart attack. In fact, being a former smoker simply compounds a person’s risk, even when using e-cigarettes.

The only way to reduce your risk is to quit smoking both tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes, the researchers determined.

The findings of the new study do not prove vaping or smoking causes heart attacks, the researchers cautioned, but simply indicates a link between the risk of heart attack and e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes.


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