Electronic cigarettes have grown increasingly popular over recent years but little is known about their cardiovascular safety.
To explore if e-cigarettes might have similar cardiovascular effects to tobacco cigarettes, a team of researchers from the University of California in Los Angeles studied 23 people who had used e-cigarettes most days for a minimum of one year and compared them with 19 people who were neither e-cigarette nor tobacco users.
The team found that e-cigarette users were significantly more likely to show increased cardiac sympathetic activity and had higher levels of systemic oxidative stress, both of which are known mechanisms by which tobacco smoking increases cardiovascular risk.
Reporting in JAMA Cardiology
(online, 1 February 2017), the researchers say the results suggest there could be major implications for long-term cardiac risk from e-cigarette use, but that causality cannot be confirmed from such a small study.