Friday December 6, 2019

Flavoured E-Cigarettes Increase the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

"This study clearly shows that e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes," said Joseph Wu, Professor at Stanford University

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E-cigarette additives impair lung function: Study.

The flavours used in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarette), especially cinnamon and menthol, can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) when inhaled, says a study. The research team investigated the effect of the e-liquids on endothelial cells that line the interior of blood vessels.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that endothelial cells exposed to the e-liquids or to blood collected from e-cigarette users shortly after vaping, exhibit significantly increased levels of molecules implicated in DNA damage and cell death.

The severity of the damage, aspects of which occur even in the absence of nicotine, varies among popular flavours, said the researchers, adding that cinnamon and menthol were found to be particularly harmful. “This study clearly shows that e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes,” said Joseph Wu, Professor at Stanford University.

E-cigarettes, Smokers
A woman smokes an electronic cigarette in London, Aug. 19, 2015. VOA

For the study, the researchers investigated the effect of six different popular e-liquid flavours — fruit, tobacco, sweet tobacco with caramel and vanilla, sweet butterscotch, cinnamon and menthol — with varied nicotine levels on endothelial cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells.

ALSO READ: UK Study: E-Cigarettes help Smokers Quit as Much as Stop-Smoking Aids

“When we exposed the cells to six different flavours of e-liquid with varying levels of nicotine, we saw significant damage. The cells were less viable in culture, and they began to exhibit multiple symptoms of dysfunction,” Wu said.

The researchers found that while several of the liquids were moderately toxic to the endothelial cells, the cinnamon- and menthol-flavoured e-liquids significantly decreased the viability of the cells in culture even in the absence of nicotine. “It’s important for e-cigarette users to realise that these chemicals are circulating within their bodies and affecting their vascular health,” Wu said. (IANS)

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Start Checking Your Cholestrol Level from Mid-20s to Avoid Heart Disease: Study

Cholesterol is a fatty substance - a lipid - found in some foods and also produced in our liver

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Researchers analysed the data obtained from almost four lakh persons in 19 countries and found a strong link between bad-cholesterol levels and risk of Heart disease from early adulthood over the next 40 years or more. Pixabay

A study has said that people should get their cholesterol levels checked from their mid-20s as the readings can be used to calculate lifetime risks of Heart disease and stroke.

The study, published in “The Lancet”, is the most comprehensive yet to look at the long-term health risks of having too much “bad” cholesterol for decades, the BBC reported.

Researchers maintain that earlier the people take action to reduce cholesterol through diet changes and medication, the better.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance – a lipid – found in some foods and also produced in our liver. It is needed to make hormones like oestrogen and testosterone, Vitamin D and other compounds.

While High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is “good” as it keeps the body healthy, Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is “bad” as it can clog arteries.

Researchers analysed the data obtained from almost four lakh persons in 19 countries and found a strong link between bad-cholesterol levels and risk of cardiovascular disease from early adulthood over the next 40 years or more.

They were able to estimate the probability of a heart attack or stroke for people aged 35 and over, according to their gender, bad-cholesterol level, age and risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, height and weight, and blood pressure.

The BBC quoted the report’s co-author Stefan Blankenberg of the University Heart Center in Hamburg: “The risk scores currently used in the clinic to decide whether a person should have lipid-lowering treatment only assess the risk of cardiovascular disease over 10 years and so may underestimate lifetime risk, particularly in young people.”

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A study has said that people should get their cholesterol levels checked from their mid-20s as the readings can be used to calculate lifetime risks of Heart disease and stroke. Pixabay

Blankenberg told BBC: “I strongly recommend that young people know their cholesterol levels and make an informed decision about the result – and that could include taking a statin.”

However, he added, there is a danger that people could rely on statins rather than leading a health lifestyle and although they were usually well tolerated, studies had not been done on the potential side-effects of taking them over decades.

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British Heart Foundation medical director Nilesh Samani said: “This large study again emphasises the importance of cholesterol as a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

“It also shows that for some people, taking measures at a much earlier stage to lower cholesterol, for example by taking statins, may have a substantial benefit in reducing their lifelong risk from these diseases.” (IANS)