Smokers can improve the health of their hearts within weeks of switching to e-cigarettes, the largest trial of its kind shows.
The month-long study of 114 smokers suggests vaping has the potential to reduce heart attack and stroke risk.
The team, at the University of Dundee, stressed vaping was “not safe” – just less harmful than tobacco.
The British Heart Foundation said stopping smoking was the single best thing you could do for your heart.
Chemicals in cigarette smoke narrow arteries as they get furred up with fatty deposits increasing the risk of a deadly blockage. Ultimately smoking doubles your risk of having a heart attack.
But the researchers said the current evidence on vaping was “very poor” and often assessed the impact of a single e-cigarette on heart health.
So they monitored people’s blood vessels a month after they were switched to e-cigarettes on the trial.
They focused on how blood vessels expand when a wave of blood rushes through, by measuring “flow-mediated dilation”.
The more the blood vessels are able to expand the healthier they are. Flow-mediate dilation scores have been closely linked to the long-term risk of heart attacks and stroke.
The results, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed:
- Healthy non-smokers had a score of 7.7%
- Smokers had a score of 5.5%
- But those who switched to nicotine e-cigarettes for a month had a score of 6.7%
So, switching to vaping got those smokers about halfway back to a healthy score.
James Gallagher – BBC – November 16, 2019.
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