E-cigarette users face 15% higher risk of stroke

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In a new study from Mount Sinai, researchers found adults who used electronic cigarettes had a 15% higher risk of having a stroke at a younger age when compared with adults who smoked traditional combustible cigarettes.

Tobacco smoking is a known major risk factor for stroke and heart attack and cigarette smoking claims nearly 480,000 lives prematurely every year in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association.

Global use of e-cigarettes, which are battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine along with other chemicals in the form of an aerosol, has substantially increased in recent years.

In the study, the team examined National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2015 to 2018 to identify 79,825 adults with a history of stroke who used traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

Among the participants, 7,756 (9.72%) used e-cigarettes; 48,625 (60.91%) used traditional cigarettes; and 23,444 (39.37%) used both.

Researchers found that although stroke was more prevalent among traditional cigarette smokers, e-cigarette smokers had a 15% higher risk of having a stroke at a younger age.

Adults who used e-cigarettes were younger when they had their first stroke—at a median average age of 48 years, compared to 59 years of age for people who smoked traditional cigarettes and 50 years of age for those who used both.

The team says e-cigarettes have not been proved to be safe and should not be considered as an alternative to traditional smoking especially among people with existing risk factors such as a history of heart attack, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

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The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021. One author of the study is Urvish K. Patel, M.D., M.P.H.

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