Dr. Pharsalinos – Cardiologist
A new study has just been published in the journal Internal and Emergency Medicine (available with free access to the full text here). The study evaluated participants from the ECLAT study, a randomized study which assessed the efficacy of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation product. Specifically, blood pressure was measured at baseline and during follow-up (52 weeks total follow-up period), to assess any potential changes in relation to the smoking status.
As expected, the study did not find any changes in blood pressure when assessing all participants, because the vast majority had normal blood pressure at baseline, and it is not expected to observe any meaningful changes in this population. However, when we assessed those with high blood pressure at baseline (high-normal or higher, as defined by the European Society of Cardiology), we observed a statistically significant reduction in systolic blood pressure in those with continuous reduction in smoking consumption (>50% reduction) and in those who had quit smoking with the use of e-cigarettes. Of note, the reduction in blood pressure was evident even after adjusting for confounders such as age, gender and weight gain. Both smoking reduction and abstinence were associated with blood pressure reductions, with stronger association observed in those with smoking abstinence.
This is yet another clinical study showing that we expect improvements in the health status of smokers who switch to e-cigarettes. I should note that although I am the first author of this study, all credit should go to Prof Polosa and his team who did an excellent job conducting the ECLAT study and generating such important data.