Small Study Links E-Cigs to Heart Symptoms
For the first time, researchers have suggested a link between e-cigarettes containing nicotine and hardening of the arteries – a condition that increases heart attack and stroke risk. The small study, which was presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Milan, Italy, also suggests a link between e-cigs and two other indicators of heart disease – increased heart rate and blood pressure.
The preliminary study was conducted at the Danderyd University Hospital, Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, Sweden. It involved 15 healthy volunteers with an average age of 26 who smoked a maximum of 10 cigarettes per month and had never used electronic cigarettes prior to the study. Researchers randomized participants to use e-cigarettes with nicotine for 30 minutes on one day of the study and e-cigarettes without nicotine on the other day.
They then measured blood pressure, heart rate, and arterial stiffness immediately after, two hours later, and four hours after the volunteers smoked the e-cigarettes. They discovered a significant increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and arterial stiffness within 30 minutes of smoking e-cigarettes containing nicotine. No such effect was observed in those who smoked non-nicotine e-cigs.