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E-cigarettes increase heart rate and blood pressure more than cigarette smoking


Blood pressure and heart rate also increase when using e-cigarettes

With the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, the discussions about possible health advantages and disadvantages of electric vaporizers also intensified. Proponents of e-cigarettes often use the supposedly lower health burden compared to smoking conventional cigarettes as an argument. However, in a recent study, scientists from the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein found that the systolic blood pressure and heart rate in e-cigarettes using nicotine-containing liquids increase even more than in normal smoking.

"The introduction of electronic cigarettes has led to a broad discussion about the cardiovascular risks compared to conventional smoking," emphasize the study authors. In a randomized cross-over study, they therefore compared the effects of e-cigarette use with those of classic tobacco use. They come to the conclusion that regular long-term use of e-cigarettes could affect the cardiovascular system in a similar way to conventional smoking. The results of the study were published in the specialist magazine "Vascular Medicine".

Comparison between e-cigarette and tobacco use

For the current study, the research team led by Klaas Franzen from the Lübeck campus of the Schleswig-Holstein University Medical Center divided and examined 15 active smokers into three groups. One group smoked a conventional cigarette, another group smoked an electronic cigarette with nicotine (eGo-T CE4 vaporizer) and another group an e-cigarette without nicotine. The test subjects did not know the nicotine content of the electronic cigarette and all participants were measured for peripheral and central blood pressure values ​​and parameters of arterial stiffness with a Mobil-O-Graph® device two hours after smoking or vaporization, the researchers report.

Increasing peripheral systolic blood pressure

The evaluation showed that "the peripheral systolic blood pressure after inhaling a nicotine-containing liquid (p <0.05) and after smoking a conventional cigarette (p <0.01) was significantly increased for about 45 minutes", report the scientists. This means that the change among e-cigarette users was even greater than among tobacco users. According to the researchers, there were no significant changes in the nicotine-free liquids.

The heart rate is also increased

"Likewise, the heart rate remained elevated about 45 minutes after the vaping of an electronic cigarette with nicotine-containing liquid and over the first 30 minutes after smoking a cigarette compared to the control group," continued the study authors. Their conclusion is correspondingly sobering for e-cigarette users who vaporize nicotine-containing liquids.

Cardiovascular risk comparable to cigarettes?

In the first attempt of this kind, changes in the peripheral and central blood pressure as well as the pulse rate were observed - both when smoking conventional cigarettes and when vaping a nicotine-containing liquid in the electronic cigarette, the scientists emphasize. "These findings can be associated with an increased long-term cardiovascular risk," the researchers continued. (fp)

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