E-Cigarettes Increase Blood Pressure in Patients With Hypertension: Presented at ESH

By Chris Berrie

BARCELONA, Spain -- June 14, 2018 -- Nicotine inhalation using electronic (e-)cigarettes significantly increases blood pressure (BP) in patients under treatment for hypertension, according to a study presented here at the 28th Scientific Meeting of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH).

E-cigarettes have been developed as part of the battle against smoking, whereby a solution containing nicotine and flavours is heated to provide an aerosol for inhalation. This is designed to replace the use of cigarettes and to help the smoker to stop smoking in the long-term.

However, many ex-smokers smoke e-cigarettes for prolonged periods, essentially moving from one addiction to another.

“Little is known about the acute influence on blood pressure and the duration of blood pressure changes due to nicotine inhalation by e-cigarettes in hypertensive subjects,” said Giuseppe Crippa, MD, Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital, Piacenza, Italy,

The current study included 30 patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension under adequate blood pressure control (<140/90 mm Hg) who quit tobacco cigarettes in favour of e-cigarettes t least 6 months before.

Heart rate (HR) and BP were measured by continuous noninvasive ambulatory BP and ECG and were monitored during a 30 minute rest in the sitting position; during other 30 minutes after smoking e-cigarettes (inhalation equivalent to 0.8 mg of nicotine of a regular cigarette) or a placebo e-cigarette (same device, same flavour but no nicotine in the solution).

Compared with placebo, patients who smoked the active e-cigarette had significant increases in systolic BP (up to 9.6 mm Hg; P< .025), diastolic BP (up to 7.1 mm Hg; P< .05), and HR (up to 16.4 bpm; P< .05) that lasted about 30 minutes.

“The statistically significant increase seems clinically meaningful [because] the period for which the blood pressure rises is very long, and these subjects are used to inhaling nicotine more than 20 times per day,” said Dr. Crippa.

[Presentation title: Effect of Electronic Cigarette Smoking on Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Patients. Evaluation by Non-Invasive Continuous Ambulatory Blood Pressure Measurement. Oral Session 1A]

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