Study linking vaping to heart attacks muddied amid spat between two tobacco researchers

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Two prominent vaping researchers are facing off over claims that electronic cigarettes double the risk of heart attacks in adults, muddying the science over how best to stop smoking.

Brad Rodu, a University of Louisville professor, asked the Journal of the American Heart Association to retract a study out last month by University of California, San Francisco professor Stanton Glantz.

The study, co-authored by Dharma Bhatta, claimed adult vaping was “associated with” a doubled risk of heart attack, but Glantz went farther in a blog post, saying the study represented “more evidence that e-cigs cause heart attacks.”

However, when Rodu obtained the federal data, he found the majority of the 38 patients in the study who had heart attacks had them before they started vaping — by an average of 10 years earlier. In his letter to the editors, Rodu called Glantz’s findings “false and invalid.”

“Their analysis was an indefensible breach of any reasonable standard for research on association or causation,” wrote Rodu and Nantaporn Plurphanswat, a research economist at University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center. “We urge you to take appropriate action on this article, including retraction.”

Glantz says Rodu has a history of “slicing and dicing” his and others’ research “to make the effects go away.”

Read full article here.

Jayne O’Donnell – USA TODAY – July 17, 2019.

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