E-cigarettes cause vascular damage similar to conventional cigarettes


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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Young adults using e-cigarettes experienced arterial stiffness and blood vessel damage similar to those who smoke traditional cigarettes, a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

As part of the Cardiovascular Injury due to Tobacco Use (CITU) study, non-invasive vascular function testing was performed on individuals without known cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular disease risk factors who were non-smokers (n=94), users of combustible cigarettes (n=285), users of e‐cigarettes (n=36), or dual users (n=52).

Measures of arterial stiffness including carotid‐femoral pulse wave velocity, augmentation index, carotid‐radial pulse wave velocity, and central blood pressures differed across the groups.

In multivariable models adjusted for age, sex, race, and study site, combustible cigarette smokers had higher augmentation index compared with non-users (129.8 versus 118.8; P=.003). The augmentation index was similar between combustible cigarette smokers vs sole e‐cigarette users (129.8 versus 126.2; P=1.0) and dual users (129.8 versus 134.9; P=1.0).

Endothelial cells from combustible cigarette smokers and sole e‐cigarette users produced less nitric oxide in response to A23187 stimulation compared with non-smokers, suggesting impaired endothelial nitric oxide synthase signalling.

The study authors say the findings suggest that e‐cigarette use is not associated with a more favourable vascular profile.