Acute effects of using an electronic nicotine-delivery device (e-cigarette) on myocardial function: comparison with the effects of regular cigarettes

Posted 22nd August 2014 by Toby Kilroy
A summary of findings into heart function and vaping carried out by Doctor Konstantinos Farsalinos and his team.

What is the research about?

  • It complements the work the team carried out looking at aorta function.
  • It looks in particular at oxygen getting to the cells of the heart.

When was it produced?

This paper was presented at the ESC congress in 2012.

How does it begin?

  • Doctor Farsalinos always prefaces his work with an overview of what we know about vaping, the WHO-predicted billion-person death toll from cigarettes for the century and that smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of lung and heart disease.

Does the work cite any other research?

  • Yes, it refers to previous lab analysis of juice concluding that eliquid is far less toxic than tobacco smoke.
  • It mentions that most studies have found no evidence of nitrosamines (a cancer causing substance found in tobacco).
  • It states that even in those tests that did detect nitrosamines they were of an insignificant level when compared to tobacco smoke, (500-1400 times less).

Why are the research team bothered?

  • Forty percent of smokers will die from coronary artery disease and the knowledge of this fact drove the team to carry out the world’s first piece of research into how vaping affects the function of the heart.

Is the heart effected by cigarette smoke?

  • Absolutely, the report notes how the heart function is badly affected by smoking.
  • The purpose of the investigation was to compare smokers with vapers to see if there was a difference.

How was the experiment carried out?

  • Forty-two subjects were used for the experiment.
  • All the participants were volunteers.
  • All the participants were in good general health.
  • Twenty-two people in the group used to smoke but had given up.
  • The remaining twenty were current smokers.
  • All volunteers were of similar health characteristics.
  • Although the vapers were ex-smokers they had a longer experience with cigarettes than the current smokers.

What did they do?

  • All volunteers spent three hours without coffee, alcohol or nicotine.
  • An echocardiographic (ECG) examination to determined their heart function.
  • All 42 subjects were roughly identical for heart function.

And then?

World Vapers Alliance
  • The volunteers then smoked one cigarette or vaped an 11mg eliquid for seven minutes.
  • A second ECG reading was taken directly after vaping for the seven minutes or when the cigarette was finished.

How does an echocardiogram work?

  • It uses ultrasound similar to how an image is obtained for a foetus in the womb.
  • Readings were taken for the systolic (heart relaxing) and diastolic (heart beating) blood pressure.
  • An index of heart performance was calculated.

What were the results?

  • They showed that vaping led to no change in heart function.
  •  Smokers showed poor function of the left ventricle.

Yey! So the conclusions were good for vaping?

  • Yes, although the group added that although further research is very important
Top Photo credit: kalyan02 via photopin cc

 Toby Kilroy
Article by Toby Kilroy
Toby set up Planet of the Vapes in 2012 after another major vaping site was taken down. With a history in web development and running websites for clients he was well placed to use his previous knowledge to build and run a site on the scale of POTV.
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