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)