Cardio Round-up: E-Cigarettes Harmful; Family History of AFib; and More


E-Cigarettes, Vaping are Associated With Heart Problems

“In response to the harmful effects of tobacco smoking, the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) has emerged and gained significant popularity over the past 15 years,” the authors of this position paper published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology wrote. “E-cigarettes are promoted as safe alternatives for traditional tobacco smoking and are often suggested as a way to reduce or quit smoking. However, evidence suggests they are not harmless.”

Position Paper: E-Cigarettes, Vaping are Associated With Heart Problems

Concern Over Growing Disparities in Premature Cardiac Deaths

“From the 1960s to 2010s, the United States experienced remarkable decline in cardiovascular disease mortality that was coined as one of the major public health accomplishments of the 20th century,” said this study’s lead investigator Zhi-Jie Zheng, MD, PhD, a University Endowed Distinguished Professor and chair of the department of global health at Peking University in Beijing, China, in a press release. “Increasing numbers of out-of-hospital deaths and fatal heart attacks in younger age groups, coupled with a steady widening of disparity of socioeconomic and health environment factors affecting health care at the county level, appear to be the key drivers of the slowdown we have seen since 2010.”

County-level Disparities in US Cardiac Deaths Growing While Decline Slows Nationally

Family History of AFib and the Risk for Cardiovascular Events

Researchers for this paper looked at the extent to which a family history of atrial fibrillation presented an increased risk for adverse cardiovascular events. According to the results, a family history of AFib was detected in 368 (21.4%) of patients in the study. Of those, 3.5% had two or more relatives affected by AFib, and the age of AFib decreased progressively in those without a history of AFib relative to those with single or multiple relatives affected (P<0.001).

Family History of AFib Linked With Increased Cardiovascular Event Risk

High-deductible Plans and Risk Not Linked with Risk

Published in JAMA Network Open, this cohort study included more than 156,000 individuals with cardiovascular disease risk factors who were continuously enrolled in low-deductible ($500 or less) health plans who switched to a high-deductible plan due to employer mandate ($1,000 or more) for four years. According to the study results, first major adverse cardiovascular events in the high-deductible cohort did not have different outcomes relative to the matched controls at follow-up versus baseline (adjusted HR=1.00; 95% CI, 0.89 to 1.13). They also reported similar findings in the subgroups.

High-deductible Plans Not Associated With Increased Risk for Stroke, Heart Attacks