E-cigarette vapor slows heart rate in mice

E-cigarette vapor slows heart rate in mice
Credit: American Heart Association

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes, affect heart rhythm and cardiovascular function in mice, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette products usually contain propylene glycol (PG) and/or vegetable glycerin (VG). These substances are commonly used to limit moisture loss in skin lotions or as food additives, but the health effects of heating and inhaling these substances are unknown.

In this study, researchers examined the cardiovascular effects of e-cigarette aerosols relative to traditional cigarettes in mice and found:

  • Exposure to ENDS aerosol or traditional cigarette smoke rapidly slowed the heart rate (bradycardia) in mice.
  • Exposure to aerosol of 50:50 vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol prolonged the heart's electrical cycle.
  • When heated, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin generate aldehydes, acrolein, acetaldehyde, and formaldehyde, of which, only acrolein induced bradycardia in mice.
  • Exposure to acrolein or PG:VG aerosol increased blood pressure in mice before the began to drop.

Researchers say further studies are needed to explore these effects in humans using ENDS. These findings suggest that exposure to ENDS aerosols may trigger cardiovascular effects and may increase the risks of developing and overall cardiovascular disease.


Explore further

More evidence found on potential harmful effects of e-cigarettes

More information: circ.ahajournals.org/content/130/16/1418
Citation: E-cigarette vapor slows heart rate in mice (2017, November 13) retrieved 20 August 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-11-e-cigarette-vapor-heart-mice.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more