Study: E-cigarettes increase risk of stroke, heart attack, heart disease

DALLAS — People who use e-cigarettes face an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and coronary heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

In what’s believed to be the largest study to date examining e-cigarettes and stroke, researchers pulled data on 400,000 respondents from a nationally-representative survey taken in 2016. They found that 3.2% of all American adults reported using e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days, as well as 11.3% of American high school students used e-cigarettes.

E-cigarette use in the U.S. among young people increased by a stunning 900% between 2011 and 2015.

“Compared with non-users, e-cigarette users were younger, had a lower body mass index and a lower rate of diabetes,” notes study author Dr. Paul M. Ndunda, an assistant professor with the School of Medicine at the University of Kansas in Wichita, in a media release.

Among the study sample, 66,795 participants said they regularly use e-cigarettes. For a control group, the researchers used the remaining 343,856 respondents who said they had never used e-cigarettes. The researchers calculated odds ratios using logistic regression analysis.

The authors found that, compared to non-users, e-cigarette users had a 71% higher risk of stroke, a 59% higher risk of heart attack or angina, and a 40% higher risk of coronary heart disease — double the rate of cigarette smoking.

In all, 4.2% of e-cigarette users have reported suffering from a stroke.

The American Heart Association calls for greater regulation of e-cigarette products and marketing.

The study is being presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2019 in Honolulu.