BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A UCLA research published on February 1st found that e-cigarettes may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Two risk factors for heart disease were found in 16 electronic cigarette users as compared to 18 non-smokers.
Holly Middlekauff, co-author of the study, declared that the patterns found in the e-cigarette smokers were similar to those found in heart attacks or in patients with heart disease and diabetes. However, the study only looked at a small number of people, therefore the results are not conclusive.
John Ambrose, cardiologist, stated that only a few people may skew the results. Also, the majority of the e-cigarette smokers used to be tobacco smokers, and this is an important factor that might have changed the data. As interesting as the study may be, it is still not enough to prove that e-cigarettes are dangerous for the health.
The study found that the e-cigarette users showed irregular heartbeat patterns that indicated high levels of adrenaline (or epinephrine) are present in the heart. Such adrenaline levels are signs of heart disease risk. The subjects were also found with high levels of oxidative stress. This means that certain protective molecules are imbalanced and can cause the narrowing and hardening of arteries.
It is not the first time when oxidative stress is connected to e-cigarettes. However, this new study pinpoints where the oxidative stress occurs and how it contributes to the development of heart disease. Other studies looked at other harmful effects that these devices had on health, such as lung inflammation caused by the toxic vapor.
Since the adrenaline levels are raised by nicotine, which is found in both regular and electronic cigarettes, the researchers prevented the subjects from using the e-cigarettes when they were performing the tests. Thus, they would know if the effects are from the electronic devices and not some long-term effects of tobacco.
The results found that the e-smokers’ hearts have high adrenaline levels all the time, not only when they smoke. What the researchers are planning to do next is find out what exactly causes these effects.
If you are planning to quit smoking and use e-cigarettes, you must be aware that these devices are not completely harmless. They cause certain changes in the body that lead to the development of heart disease.
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