One of the major risk factors for stroke and heart attack is tobacco smoking and cigarette smoking claims nearly 480,000 lives prematurely every year in the U.S., as per the American Heart Association Presidential Advisory, New and Emerging Tobacco Products and the Nicotine Endgame: The Role of Robust Regulation and Comprehensive Tobacco Control and Prevention.
Stroke and E-Cigarettes
The study team analyzed 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. Almost 7,756 (9.72%) participants in the study used e-cigarettes, 48,625 (60.91%) used traditional cigarettes and 23,444 (39.37%) used both.
It was 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.
Moreover, the incidence of the first stroke in adults who used e-cigarettes was at an average age of 48 years, when compared to 59 years of age for people who smoked traditional cigarettes and 50 years of age for those who used both.
The study also found that among the women who had a stroke, 36.36% used e-cigarettes compared with 33.91% who smoked traditional cigarettes.
“The public needs to know that the safety of 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 history of heart attack, high blood pressure and high cholesterol,” says the study’s co-lead author Urvish K. Patel, M.D., M.P.H., research scholar and chief education officer in the department of public health and neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.