A new study suggests that smokers can reduce their risk of strokes and heart attacks by switching to vaping.
Researchers at the University of Dundee conducted a month-long trial involving 114 smokers. They found that those who swapped cigarettes for e-cigs experienced changes, which could lead to a reduction in heart attack and stroke risk within weeks. The team said that the findings were positive, but stressed that vaping should not be seen as “safe”, rather it should be viewed as a less harmful alternative to smoking.
The team decided to carry out research because there is a lack of information related to the impact of vaping on heart health and most studies tend to focus on the effects of a single e-cigarette, rather than vaping over a period of time. Smoking is a known risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, with smokers twice as likely to experience a heart attack or a stroke than non-smokers.
To analyse the impact of vaping, researchers monitored participants for a month after they started vaping. During the trial, the team evaluated flow-mediated dilation, looking closely at the blood vessels and how far they expanded when blood rushed through them. The more the vessels are able to expand to accommodate waves of blood, the healthier they are.
The findings of the study, which have been published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, showed that smokers had a median flow-mediate dilation score of 5.5% compared to 7.7% for healthy non-smokers. The rate among smokers increased from 5.5% to 6.7% after a month of vaping.
Professor Jacob George, a member of the research team, explained that those who switched to vaping experienced noticeable improvements in flow-mediate dilation scores within a month, which indicated that it would be worth exploring potential long-term effects.