The impact of e-cigarettes on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors is similar to effects seen among people who smoked traditional combustible cigarettes; deleterious effects were seen on cholesterol, triglycerides (TGs), and blood glucose as well as on blood flow to the heart.
The findings are reported in 2 studies that will be presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2019, November 16-18, in Philadelphia.
If smokers choose to use e-cigarettes in the effort to quit smoking, they should plan to stop using those, too, noted AHA's deputy chief science and medical officer Rose Marie Robertson, MD, in an AHA press release on the studies. By way of explanation, she points to the paucity of long-term safety data and the expanding body of information describing a range of negative physiologic effects of the devices themselves as well as the chemical compounds used in them.
Study: E-cigarettes linked to alterations in lipid profiles
Based on knowledge that combustible traditional cigarettes (t-cigarettes) alter human lipid profiles, Sana Majid, MD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues compared cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose levels in healthy adult nonsmokers, e-cigarette smokers, and dual e- and t-cigarette smokers (dual smokers). (AHA oral presentation Mo3106)
The 476 participants from the Cardiovascular Injury due to Tobacco Use (CITU) study were aged 21-45 years, free of CVD, and taking no daily medications:
- 94 nonsmokers
- 45 e-cigarettes smokers
- 52 dual smokers
- 285 t-cigarette smokers
- E-cigarette users were predominantly current (dual) or former smokers and were overall younger, with more men and fewer blacks in that group.
- T-cigarette users had lower HDL levels and higher levels of glucose, TCh, LDL, and VLDL vs nonsmokers.
- Sole e-cigarette use remained associated with elevated TCH, TG, and LDL vs nonsmokers (all P<.05) in multivariate regression models adjusted for age, race, and sex.
- Dual cigarette use was associated with lower HDL-C (P<.01).
The findings suggest, the authors write, that t-cigarette smokers who concurrently use or switch to e-cigarettes may not experience appreciable metabolic benefits. "Although primary care providers and patients may think that use of e-cigarettes by smokers makes heart health sense," said lead author Majid in the AHA press release, "...the best option is to use FDA-approved methods...along with behavioral counseling."
The study will be presented on Monday, November 18, 2019, 11:30-12:00, during the oral poster session Smoking, Alcohol Use and other Behavioral Risk Factors for CVD in Zone 3, Science and Technology Hall at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.