Vaping May Be Worse For The Heart Than Smoking

New Research Shows Vaping Is Not Safe For The Heart, Either

The Doctor Is In
Nov 23 · 2 min read
Photo by Rubén Bagüés on Unsplash

It is quite clear that vaping can cause lung damage, and it has sickened and even killed thousands of people — especially young people — across the country. What is just as concerning is that new research shows that the heart is not safe from the effects of vaping, either.

In research presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association earlier this month, a team of researchers studied

healthy, young-adult smokers aged 18 to 38 who were regular users of e-cigarettes or tobacco cigarettes. The researchers then measured participants’ blood flow to the heart muscle-focusing on a measure of coronary vascular function-before and after sessions of either e-cigarette use or cigarette smoking, while participants were at rest and also after they performed a handgrip exercise which simulates physiologic stress.

In smokers who used traditional cigarettes, blood flow increased modestly after traditional cigarette inhalation and then decreased with subsequent stress. However, in smokers who used e-cigarettes, blood flow decreased after both inhalation at rest and also after handgrip stress.

What is alarming about this research is that the heart may not be safe from the effects of vaping, either. It may even be worse than cigarettes.

The research was conducted by Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. “Our results suggest that e-cigarette use is associated with coronary vascular dysfunction at rest, even in the absence of physiologic stress,” said Susan Cheng, MD, MPH, MMsc, director of Public Health Research at the Smidt Heart Institute.

“Coronary vascular dysfunction” is medical speak for abnormal blood flow to the heart. This new research suggests that vaping can affect the blood flow to the heart, even when one is at rest, not exercising or doing anything strenuous. And this was shown to be worse than the effects of cigarette smoking.

This is very alarming. It is bad enough that vaping can damage the lungs to the point that you may need double lung transplantation. Now, research suggests that the heart may be affected, as well. Decreased blood flow to the heart is bad, no matter how one looks at it. The fact that vaping can cause this is quite scary.

The Doctor Is In

Written by

Thoughts of Dr. Hesham A. Hassaballa, a Critical Care specialist and physician leader, author, and writer. His latest book is “Code Blue,” a medical thriller.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade