This piece of research, which complements the one done into aorta function, goes by many headings depending on your source but the official title of the research is
“Acute effects of using an electronic nicotine-delivery device (e-cigarette) on myocardial function: comparison with the effects of regular cigarettes by K. Farsalinos, D. Tsiapras, S. Kyrzopoulos, M. Savvopoulou, E. Avramidou, D. Vasilopoulou, V. Voudris, Onassis”.
This paper was presented at the ESC congress in 2012.
It starts, as does most things involving Dr. Farsalinos, with an abstract giving the background to the paper. In it he details 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.
He refers to previous studies detailing lab analysis of juice stating that e-liquid is far less toxic than tobacco smoke and that most studies have found no evidence of nitrosamines (a cancer causing substance found in tobacco) and he states that even in those tests that did detect some they were of an insignificant level when compared to tobacco smoke, in the region of 500-1400 times less.
40% of smokers will die from coronary artery disease and it is this fact that drove the team to carry out the world’s first piece of research into how vaping affects the function of the heart.
The report notes how it is a given that heart function is badly affected by smoking and so the purpose of the investigation was to compare smokers with vapers to see if there was a difference.
42 subjects were used for the experiment, all volunteers and all in good general health. Twenty-two people in the group used to smoke but had given up and solely used e cigarettes, the remaining twenty were current smokers. All volunteers were of similar health characteristics.
All volunteers spent three hours without coffee, alcohol or nicotine and then had an echocardiographic (ECG) examination to determine heart function and provide a baseline to measure against. All 42 subjects were roughly identical for heart function at this stage. It was noted that although the vapers were ex-smokers they had a longer experience with cigarettes than the current smokers.
The volunteers then smoked one cigarette or vaped an 11mg eliquid for seven minutes. Then a second ECG was performed, this was carried out either directly after vaping for the seven minutes or when the cigarette was finished.
Using ultrasound, similar to how a foetus is imaged in the womb, various readings were taken such as the systolic (heart relaxing) and diastolic (heart beating) blood pressure. Using the data obtained an index of heart performance could be calculated.
The results demonstrated that vaping had led to no change in heart function at all whereas the smokers demonstrated poor function of part of the heart called the left ventrical.
The group concludes that although further research is very important they found that e cigarette use had no acute effect on heart function.