Vaping May Cause ‘Substantial’ Heart Failure

( – Recent studies are finding results that indicate vaping, a practice that has quickly increased over the last decade, may pose a risk to heart health.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from 2021, around 4.5% of adults in America regularly used e-cigarettes. That number is even higher among the youth, who are more likely to vape. US Food and Drug Administration data shows that one out of seven high school students are vaping.

Typically considered safer than smoking, the practice is not without its own accompanying issues, and because it’s still a relatively recent phenomenon, less is known about the long-term effects. Studies that do exist have shown an increased risk of asthma, lung disease, heart disease, and blood vessel damage, especially for people with other health conditions.

A large study directed by Baltimore’s MedStar Health found that frequent users of e-cigarettes may have a 19% higher chance of developing heart failure compared to people who have never vaped.

MedStar Health resident physician and lead author of the study Yakubu Bene-Alhasen said that links between vaping e-cigarettes and harmful side-effects are showing up in “more and more studies,” and the practice is turning out to “not be as safe as previously thought.” He said the difference between the study group who vaped and the control group who did not “was substantial” and “worth considering” when it comes to health consequences of vaping, particularly heart health.

The results of the study are set to be presented at the Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology. The study looked at data from health records and surveys to investigate links between heart failure and the use of e-cigarettes, analyzing a total of 175,667 participants. The average age of the participants was 52, and 3,242 of those participants developed heart failure in a follow-up period of a 45-month average.

The results are in alignment with some previous studies using animals which found e-cigarette vapor caused heart disease and cardiovascular issues. The connection is still inconclusive, and more work needs to be done to clarify the exact foundation of the apparent association. The scale of the study and detailed nature of the data highlighted areas where future research could be conducted, which Bene-Alhasen said is “long overdue.”

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