An analysis of national data, presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021, found that adults who used e-cigarettes had a 15% higher risk of suffering a stroke at a younger age, relative to traditional combustible cigarette smokers—despite the already high risk of stroke associated with smoking tobacco.
To evaluate, researchers collected data of 79,825 adults with a history of stroke who used traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, from 2015 to 2018. Among the participants, 7,756 (9.72%) used e-cigarettes, 48,625 (60.91%) used traditional cigarettes, and 23,444 (39.37%) used both.
They observed that adult e-cigarette users were on average 48 years old when they had their first stroke, compared to 59 years old for traditional cigarette smokers, and 50 years of age for people who used both. Stroke was still more common among traditional cigarette smokers than e-cigarette users or people who used both, 6.75% compared to 1.09% and 3.72%, respectively.
Still, authors concluded that “the public needs to know that e-cigarettes have not been proved to be safe and should not be considered as an alternative to traditional,” said the study’s co-lead author Urvish K. Patel, MD, MPH., research scholar and chief education officer in the department of public health and neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.