Another day, another study

| September 21, 2017

The nicotine in electronic-cigarette vapor may cause adrenaline levels to spike in the heart, potentially increasing the risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death, according to a story by Dennis Thompson for HealthDay, citing the results of a new study.

E-cigarettes have been promoted as a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes because, researchers have said, they deliver vastly lower levels of carcinogens.

But laboratory studies showed that e-cigarettes could pose a threat to health because of the nicotine that they typically deliver, said lead researcher Dr. Holly Middlekauff, who is a cardiologist with the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Nicotine-containing e-cigarettes seemed to promote a fight-or-flight response, causing a release of adrenaline that increased heart rate and reduced the amount of time between heart beats, researchers found.

“The concern is that extended use of nicotine is going to expose you to long-term high adrenaline levels in the heart,” Middlekauff said. “That has been shown to be a risk factor for heart attack.”

Based on the results, Middlekauff said, current tobacco cigarette smokers still would be better off switching to e-cigarettes. They would avoid the carcinogens produced by burning tobacco, even though they could face heart health effects from nicotine.

Meanwhile, Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said that the researchers had overstated their findings.

“Past studies have shown that eating meals high in carbohydrates induces heart rate variability,” he said. “Are we going to be warning people away from corn flakes?”

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Category: Breaking News, Harm reduction, Vapor

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