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Amid continuing concerns about the safety and health risks associated with e-cigarettes, a new study indicates that side effects of vaping may increase the risk of suffering a stroke, as well as pose a potential risk for heart problems.
The findings come are scheduled to be presented this week at an upcoming American Stroke Association Conference, and add to the growing evidence that suggest the widely popular alternatives to tobacco cigarettes are not as harmless as many users believe.
E-cigarette use not only increases a person’s stroke risk, but also puts them at heightened risk for heart attack and heart disease, according to the findings, which echo results of a similar study published in 2017, which found that vaping increased the risk of heart disease.
Researchers from the University of Kansas analyzed data collected by the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. This included a phone survey of people in all 50 states of nearly 400,000 respondents. This included roughly 67,000 e-cigarette users and 344,000 people in the control group.
Compared to nonusers, e-cigarette users had a 71 percent increased risk of stroke, according to the findings. They also had a 59 percent increased risk of heart attack and a 40% higher risk of heart disease. Overall, four percent of e-cigarette users reported suffering a stroke.
The study also found that people who vape are also twice as likely to smoke as those who do not. This fits in line with a study published recently indicating adolescent vaping quadruples the chance of smoking tobacco cigarettes.
Use of both cigarettes and e-cigarettes puts a person at even greater risk of heart disease and stroke.
Researchers aren’t clear how vaping leads to stroke risk, but they speculate it may be tied to the buildup of fatty deposits in arteries. Other studies have shown vaping damages the lining of the blood vessels and increases a person’s heart attack risk.
The study also noted e-cigarette use among high school students increased by 900 percent between 2011 and 2015. In 2016, roughly three percent of adults vaped while 11 percent of high school students reported using e-cigarettes. Overall, e-cigarette users are younger, have a lower BMI, and lower rate of diabetes.
The findings are considered preliminary until they have been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. They are scheduled to be presented February 6, at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Honolulu.