Vaping increases risk of heart failure by almost 20%, study finds

People who vape are more at risk of heart failure. (Getty Images)
People who vape are more at risk of heart failure. (Getty Images) (Martina Paraninfi via Getty Images)

In recent years, vaping has been offered as an alternative to smoking cigarettes – but now new research has found that people who vape are neatly 20% more at risk of heart failure than non-vapers.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), around 3.5% of Brits, or 4.5 million people in the UK, regularly vape.

Those who vape are 19% more likely to develop preserved ejection fraction heart failure, which is where the heart muscle becomes too stiff to function properly.

These results were found by scientists at the American College of Cardiology who analysed 175,667 US adults with an average age of 52 for around four years.

Rates of preserved ejection fraction have risen in recent decades, which has led to a heightened focus on determining risk factors for this condition.

“More and more studies are linking e-cigarettes to harmful health effects and finding that it might not be as safe as was previously thought,” Dr Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, lead author of the study and a physician at MedStar Health in Baltimore, Maryland, said.

Close up of unrecognizable woman smoking electronic cigarette with her friend.
Nearly 3.5% of Brits aged 11 to 18 report regularly vaping. (Getty Images) (Ivan Pantic via Getty Images)

“The difference we saw was substantial. It’s worth considering the consequences to your health, especially your heart health.”

Research published by the House of Commons earlier this year found that 3.5% of British teens aged 11 to 18 report regularly vaping. A separate report from The International Tobacco Control study found that nearly a quarter (24%) of 16 to 19-year-olds reported vaping in 2022.

“I think this research is long overdue, especially considering how much e-cigarettes have gained traction recently,” Dr Bene-Alhasan added.

“We don’t want to wait too long to find out eventually that it might be harmful, and by that time, a lot of harm might already have been done.”

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However, Dr Bene-Alhasan adds that more research needs to be done into the link between vaping and heart failure as, at present, they can only infer a causal relationship between the two rather than conclusively determine.

“With more research, we will get to uncover a lot more about the potential health consequences and improve the information out to the public,” he added.

The scientist also suggested that people do not use e-cigarettes as a tool to quit smoking.

The NHS currently lists vaping as one tool to quit smoking cigarettes and says they are “substantially less harmful”. However, other ways it suggests includes aids like nicotine patches, gum, and nasal spray, or joining a local stop smoking service.

If you’re in England and want to speak to someone about quitting smoking, you can call the free Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044.

Additional reporting by SWNS.

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