Individuals Who Smoke E-Cigarettes Have 15% Higher Risk of Stroke at Young Age

The study results also show that strokes were far more common among traditional smokers.

Individuals who use electronic cigarettes had a 15% higher risk of having a stroke at a younger age than those who use traditional cigarettes, despite the high risk of stroke with tobacco smoking, according to preliminary research results.

“The public needs to know that the safety of e-cigarettes have not been proved to be safe and should not be considered as an alternative to traditional smoking, especially among people with existing risk factors, such as a history of heart attack, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol,” Urvish Patel, MD, MPH, chief education officer in the department of public health and neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said in a statement.

Other findings show that individuals who used e-cigarettes averaged aged 48 years compared with aged 59 years for individuals who smoked traditionally and aged 50 years for those who used both.

Stroke was far more common among traditional cigarette smokers (6.75%) than e-cigarette users (1.09%) or individuals who used both (3.72%).

Among women who had had a stroke, 36.36% used e-cigarettes compared with 33.91% who smoked traditional cigarettes.

Among Mexican Americans, 21.21% used e-cigarettes and 6.02% used traditional cigarettes compared with the 24.24% and 7.7% of non-Mexican American Hispanic individuals, respectively.

“Many people are aware that nicotine is a chemical in vaping products as well as in conventional cigarettes. However, there are lots of other chemicals included that can directly affect the lining of the blood vessels,” Karen Furie, MD, MPH, chair of the department of neurology at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School, said in the statement.

“These can cause damage to the blood vessels that results in atherosclerosis, but it can also cause injury that weakens the strength of the blood vessels, predisposes to clot formation and can damage the blood vessels over time, so that individuals are at risk for both the ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke,” she said.

Investigators examined National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2015 to 2018 and identified 79,825 individuals with a history of stroke who used either form of cigarettes. Among them, 9.72% used e-cigarettes, 60.91% used traditional cigarettes, and 39.37% used both.

A limitation to the study was that investigators did not have data on the severity or type of the individuals’ stroke.

The findings will be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Session 2021, which takes place from November 13 to November 15, 2021.

Reference

E-cigarette users face 15% higher risk of stroke at a younger age than traditional smokers. EurekAlert. News release. November 8, 2021. Accessed November 9, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/933457