Volatile organic compounds in e-cigarettes linked to changes in vascular function and health

06 November 2022

2 minute read


Majid SA, et al. Abstract SU15569. Presented at American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; November 5-7, 2022; Chicago (hybrid meeting).

Majid does not report any relevant financial information.

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CHICAGO — Volatile organic compounds in combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes have been linked to acute changes in vascular function, according to a study presented at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association.

Electronic cigarette with pods and traditional use of cigarettes was associated with increased systolic BP, diastolic BP, and heart rate and decreased flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery, Sana Majid, MD, MSpostdoctoral fellow at Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues reported.

Electronic cigarette

Volatile organic compounds found in combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes have been associated with acute changes in vascular function.
Source: Adobe Stock

“We were interested in investigating whether pod-based e-cigarette use affects certain measures of heart health. ‘were not users of tobacco products,” Majid told Healio. “We found that users of e-cigarettes with pods and users of combustible cigarettes had a high systolic BP at baseline. Acute use of these pod-based devices reduced flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery and increased blood pressure similarly to the use of combustible cigarettes and to a greater extent than in non-users of tobacco products. We also found that certain chemicals found in tobacco smoke and e-cigarette aerosols that we measured in our study participants were associated with adverse changes in vascular health measures of interest.

The researchers recruited 106 adults without CVD or pre-existing CV risk factors between the ages of 18 and 45 (mean age, 27) at Boston University School of Medicine and the University of Louisville using Craigslist ads, email messages from Boston University and University of Louisville students, and permitted public postings.

Sana Majid

Majid explained that attendees bring their own e-cigarette or pod-based tobacco product to use for 10 minutes. Non-users who were recruited “blew” on an ordinary straw for the same amount of time. BP and flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery were measured before and after use and urine samples were collected after 1 hour to measure levels of volatile organic compounds associated with cigarette smoke and alcohol. electronic cigarette aerosol.

Among e-cigarette users, 64% were exclusive users and 37% said they had never used combustible cigarettes.

Researchers reported that e-cigarette users and traditional cigarette users had similar baseline and higher systolic blood pressure than non-smokers (e-cigarette users, 121 mm Hg; traditional cigarette users, 121 mm Hg nonusers, 112 mm Hg; P = .0004).

E-cigarette use was associated with decreased flow-mediated dilation (–3.2%) and increased systolic BP (mean increase, 6 mm Hg), diastolic BP (mean increase , 4 mm Hg) and heart rate (mean increase, 5 BPM), each similar to traditional cigarette smoking (P = 0.83).

Changes in vascular function observed in e-cigarette users were greater than in non-users (P for flow-mediated dilation < 0.0001; P for systolic BP = 0.002; P Diastolic BP = 0.003; P for heart rate < 0.0001) and remained constant after adjusting for age, sex and race.

Levels of volatile organic compounds found in participants’ urine samples, including acrylamide, acrylonitrile and crotonaldehyde, were associated with changes in measures of vascular health, according to the presentation.

Additionally, cultured endothelial cells were exposed to selected volatile organic compounds to assess nitric oxide production.

Researchers observed a reduction in acetylcholine-stimulated nitric oxide production in cultured human aortic endothelial cells exposed to acrylamide, acrylonitrile and crotonaldehyde.

“The alterations found in our study suggest that pod-based e-cigarettes negatively affect measures of vascular health,” Majid told Healio. “We are continuing to follow study participants to see the long-term vascular effects of e-cigarette use. It is important to exercise caution with e-cigarettes, as much remains unknown.


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