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E-Cigarette Use Accelerates Effects of Cardiovascular Aging

Blood vessel health suffers from short- and long-term exposure

Westminster, Colo. (August 12, 2017)—A new study suggests that a single exposure to e-cigarette (e-cig) vapor may be enough to impair vascular function. Researchers from West Virginia University will present findings today at the Cardiovascular Aging: New Frontiers and Old Friends meeting in Westminster, Colo.

The researchers studied artery diameter, the blood vessels’ ability to widen (vasodilation) and aortic stiffness in female mice after short- and long-term exposure to flavored e-cig vapor. Aortic stiffness is an age-related complication in the heart’s main artery (aorta) that can be an indicator of cardiovascular disease. They found that within an hour of the five-minute e-cig exposure, the short-term group’s arteries narrowed by approximately 30 percent. Vasodilation decreased as well.

Long-term exposure to e-cig vapor (20 hours per week over a period of eight months) also produced negative effects of chronic e-cig use, including aortic stiffness, which was more than twice as high as control groups exposed to normal room air. “These data indicate that e-cigs should not be considered safe and that they induce significant deleterious effects” on blood vessel function, wrote the authors.

Mark Olfert, PhD, will present “Acute and chronic effects of e-cigarette vapor exposure on vascular function: new friend or old foe?” at a poster session on Saturday, August 12, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Westminster Westin Hotel.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: The Cardiovascular Aging: New Frontiers and Old Friends conference will be held in Westminster, Colo., August 11–14, 2017. Read the full program. To schedule an interview with the conference organizers or presenters, contact the APS Communications Office or call 301-634-7209. Find more research highlights in the APS Press Room.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

 


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