Vaping could increase heart failure by 19%, study says

Vaping could increase heart failure by 19%, study says

New research investigates the link between vaping and heart failure, with one in five participants who vaped going on to develop the condition.

Researchers from Medstar Health in Baltimore analysed data from 175,667 adult participants in the US over four years. Of these e-cigarette users, 3,242 developed heart failure within the study period. This was 19% higher than expected in those who have never vaped.

Various socioeconomic and demographic factors were accounted for in determining the results of the study. For example, other heart disease risk factors and substance usage such as alcohol and tobacco. The researchers found no evidence that age; sex or smoking status affected the relationship between vaping and heart failure.

Yakubu Bene-Alhasan is a resident physician at Medstar Health and the lead author of the study. He said: ‘More and more studies are linking e-cigarettes to harmful effects and finding that it might not be as safe as previously thought. The difference we saw was substantial. It’s worth considering the consequences to your health, especially with regard to heart health.’

The results of the study align with previous research conducted on animals, but many other studies involving humans have been inconclusive. Dr Bene-Alhasan said that this was likely due to the much smaller sample sizes used.

‘A lot of harm might already have been done’

The study’s authors said the findings point to the need for further investigation of the impact of vaping on heart health. In particular, they were concerned about rising use of e-cigarettes in younger age groups.

Dr Bene-Alhasan continued: ‘I think this research is long overdue, especially considering how much e-cigarettes have gained traction. We don’t want to wait too long to find out eventually that it might be harmful, and by that time a lot of harm might already have been done. With more research, we will get to uncover a lot more about the potential health consequences and improve the information out to the public.’

He also discouraged the use of vaping to quit smoking, as he said that many people continue to vape long after they stop smoking.

The researchers conclude that while they cannot conclusively determine a relationship between vaping and heart failure, the scale of the study means that a link can be inferred.

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