E-cigarette with nicotine may increase the risk of heart attacks

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Fifteen volunteers who'd never used e-cigarettes before took part in an experiment, with tests revealing an increase in blood pressure, heart rate and arterial stiffness 30 minutes after using them. This has significant inference for the use of e cigarettes as arterial stiffness is analogous to surge in risk of heart attacks and strokes later in life.

Study leader Dr Magnus Lundback, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said: 'The number of e-cigarette users has increased dramatically in the last few years and [the devices] have been marketed as "almost harmless".

The vaping device which often people use as a stepping stone to giving up smoking has been found to contain the stimulant that causes arteries to stiffen as well as increased heart rate and blood pressure. E-cigarettes are often considered harmless by society.

These side effects weren't experienced by the participants who'd smoked e-cigarettes without nicotine though. Nevertheless, the safety of e-cigarettes is disputed, and increasing evidence indicates numerous adverse health effects. Average age of the participants was 26, of which 41% were male and 59% female.

After 3o minutes of smoking the vaping device which contained nicotine, scientists found a significant increase in blood pressure, heart rate and aterial stiffness.

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"Furthermore, the e-cigarette industry also targets non-smokers, with designs and flavours that appeal to a large crowd, even the very young, and that carry the risk of a lifelong nicotine addiction". Those who were taking nicotine were detected with Arterial stiffness that increased around three folds as compared to the nicotine free group.

While the effects seen in the tests were temporary, Dr Lundback said that chronic exposure to e-cigarettes with nicotine could cause permanent effects on arterial stiffness in the long term. The researchers checked arterial stiffness instantly after smoking the e cigarettes and then again some hours later.

Based on scientific facts, e-cigarette smokers must be aware of their possible health effects, so that they can decide on whether to continue or quit smoking them. However, several studies question the e-cigarette as a means of smoking cessation, and there is a high risk of double use, where people use both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes.

'Our results underline the necessity of maintaining a critical and cautious attitude towards e-cigarettes, especially for health care professionals.

Dr Lundbäck and his group of researchers are continuing to examine the effects of e-cigarettes on lung functions and blood vessels in humans and in cell cultures.