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Heart attack risk doubles for e-cigarette users

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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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Diabetes drug might ease heart failure risk

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A new research has showed that the diabetes drug Farxiga might do double-duty for patients, helping to ward off another killer, heart failure.

According to the findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with their presentation at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago, Type 2 diabetics who took Farxiga saw their odds of hospitalization for heart failure drop by 27 percent compared to those who took a placebo.

Farxiga is a type of drug called a SGLT2 inhibitor. The compound is called dapagliflozin.

The study included more than 17,000 type 2 diabetes patients aged 40 and older. Nearly 7,000 had heart disease and more than 10,000 had numerous risk factors for heart disease, Wiviott’s group said.

Patients were randomly assigned to take a dummy placebo pill or 10 milligrams of Farxiga each day.

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“When it comes to helping our patients control and manage blood glucose, the ‘how’ appears to be as important [as] the ‘how much,” said study author Dr Stephen Wiviott, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“When choosing a therapy, trial results like these can help us make an informed decision about what treatments are not only safe and effective for lowering blood glucose but can also reduce risk of heart and kidney complications,” Wiviott said in a hospital news release.

Taking the drug did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular-related death, the research team noted. However, patients who took the drug did see healthy declines in their blood sugar levels, plus an added bonus: a 27 percent decrease in their risk of hospitalization for heart failure.

Their risk of kidney failure and death from kidney failure also fell, researchers noted.

Two other recent studies of this class of drugs show that they “robustly and consistently improve heart and kidney outcomes in a broad population of patients with diabetes,” Wiviott noted.

With Inputs from HealthDay

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