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Heart attack risk doubles for e-cigarette users

Gorkha Post

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Daily use of e-cigarettes can nearly double the odds of a heart attack, according to a new analysis of a survey of nearly 70,000 people, led by researchers at UC San Francisco.

In addition, the research also found that dual use of e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes — the most common use pattern among e-cigarette users — appears to be more dangerous than using either product alone.

It increases the odds of a heart attack by 4.6 times, according to researchers at the University of California San Francisco, who published their findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on Wednesday.

The study was the first to examine the relationship between e-cigarette use and heart attacks.

The risk of heart attack, however, drops immediately after people stop smoking or refrain from using e-cigarettes.

“Most adults who use e-cigarettes continue to smoke cigarettes,” Dr. Stanton Glantz, a UCSF professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, said in a press release.

“While people may think they are reducing their health risks, we found that the heart attack risk of e-cigarettes adds to the risk of smoking cigarettes,” Dr. Stanton added.

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E-cigarettes deliver lower levels of carcinogens than conventional cigarettes, however both contain ultrafine particles and other toxins that have been linked to increased cardiovascular and non-cancer lung disease risks.

Researchers analyzed medical data on 69,452 smokers aged 18 and older who participated in the National Health Interview Survey in 2014 and 2016. The US Census Bureau conducts the surveys.

Of 9,352 current and former e-cigarette users in the study, 3.6 percent had experienced a heart attack at some point. The highest percentage — 6.1 percent — was among those who used e-cigarettes daily.

One quarter of the 2,259 people who currently used e-cigarettes were former conventional smokers — and about 66 percent of current e-cigarette users were also current cigarette smokers.

The total odds of a heart attack were about the same for those who continued to smoke cigarettes daily and those who switched to daily e-cigarette use.

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Commonly used heart, diabetes drugs may help ease mental illness

Raghu Kshitiz

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Commonly used drugs to combat physical health diseases, such as, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes could bring significant benefits to people with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or non-affective psychoses, according to a study led by University College London (UCL).

The researchers say their findings have “enormous potential”. But they, and independent experts, say the results now need to be tested in clinical trials.

The study published in JAMA Psychiatry assessed the health data records of over 142,000 Swedish patients with serious mental illnesses — including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The starting point for the researchers was a list of currently prescribed medications that science predicts could also help patients with severe mental health disorders.

The researchers found that those patients typically fared better during periods when they were taking certain medications to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes.

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The study focused on those patients who had either been prescribed Hydroxylmethyl glutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (HMG-CoA RIs), more commonly known as statins—which are used to reduce cholesterol/heart disease, L-type calcium channel antagonists (LTCC), used to reduce high blood pressure, or biguanides (such as metformin), used to treat diabetes.

“Serious mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder, are associated with high levels of morbidity and are challenging to treat,” Lead author, Dr. Joseph Hayes (UCL Psychiatry), said, “Many widely used drugs, such as statins, have long been identified as having the potential for repurposing to benefit these disorders.”

“Many widely used drugs, such as statins, have long been identified as having the potential for repurposing to benefit these disorders,” Dr Hayes added.

This study is the first to use large population data sets to compare patient’s exposure to these commonly used drugs and the potential effects on people with serious mental illnesses.

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