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Nicotine e-cigarettes 'cause' blood clotting

Monday September 6th 2021

E-cigarettes that contain nicotine cause blood clots and render small blood vessels less able to expand and dilate, a European conference will hear today.

Swedish researchers, reporting to the European Respiratory Society International Congress, will also allege that these types of e-cigarettes raise heart rate and blood pressure.

It means the effects are similar to those caused by smoking traditional cigarettes, and long-term use could lead to heart attack or stroke, according to the researchers.

Dr Gustaf Lyytinen, of Helsingborg Hospital and a researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and colleagues completed detailed experiments with 22 women and men aged between 18 and 45 years who were occasional smokers but otherwise healthy.

Each volunteer was tested before and after taking 30 puffs from an e-cigarette containing nicotine, and before and after 30 puffs from an e-cigarette that did not contain nicotine. These two sets of tests were carried out on separate occasions, at least one week apart.

The researchers measured volunteers’ heart rate and blood pressure and collected a blood sample before they used the e-cigarettes, 15 minutes after use and 60 minutes after use.

Tests were also conducted to measure any impact on the circulation of blood through the body’s tiny blood vessels, before the participants used e-cigarettes and 30 minutes afterwards.

The research team found that using e-cigarettes containing nicotine created an average 23% increase in blood clots after 15 minutes that returned to normal levels after 60 minutes.

An increase in heart rates from an average of 66 beats per minute/bpm to an average of 73bpm and blood pressure from an average of 108 millimetres of mercury/mmHg to an average of 117mmHg were also recorded while the volunteers’ blood vessels were found to be temporarily narrower after they used nicotine-containing e-cigarettes.

However, none of these effects were recorded after volunteers used e-cigarettes that did not contain nicotine.

Dr Lyytinen said: “Our results suggest that using e-cigarettes that contain nicotine have similar impacts on the body as smoking traditional cigarettes. This effect on blood clots is important because we know that in the long-term this can lead to clogged up and narrower blood vessels, and that of course puts people at risk of heart attacks and strokes.”

Abstract no: OA2576 Gustaf Lyytinen et al. Electronic cigarettes containing nicotine increase thrombotic activity and impair microcirculation 6 September 2021.


Tags: Drug & Alcohol Abuse | Heart Health | Respiratory | UK News

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