E-cig use tied to 71% higher risk of stroke

E-cigarette users can now add stroke to the list of risks they incur when they make the choice to vape, according to a study of more than 400,000 Americans.

Research slated for presentation Feb. 6 at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Honolulu found individuals who self-reported using e-cigarettes at least once saw a 71 percent higher risk of stroke, 59 percent higher risk of heart attack and 40 percent higher risk of heart disease.

“There’s a certain notion that e-cigarettes are harmless,” Paul Ndunda, the study’s lead author, told NPR. “But this study and previous other studies show that while they’re less harmful than normal cigarettes, their use still comes with risks.”

The study drew on data from the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a phone survey sponsored by federal agencies like the CDC. Using that information, Ndunda and his team also found e-cig users were twice as likely to smoke conventional cigarettes—a finding that’s been echoed in other work.

Ndunda said his results are important, but a study that identifies e-cigarette users earlier and tracks their health over time would yield clearer results. Since the data used in his study only included adults over age 18, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the risk of stroke in younger populations who vape.

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