Study: E-cigarettes that contain nicotine can cause blood clotting

 According to research presented at Monday's European Respiratory Society International Congress, nicotine-containing e-cigarettes can cause an immediate increase in blood clot formation and a decrease in the ability for small blood vessels expand and dilate.

The body's levels of hormones like adrenaline are known to be higher than normal. This can lead to blood clots.

Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden conducted a small study on 22 men and women aged 18 to 45 who were regular smokers, but otherwise in good health.

Researchers discovered that nicotine-e-cigarettes caused a series of short-term changes in volunteers. After 15 minutes, the average blood clot rate increased by 23% and returned to normal after 60 minutes.

The heart rate and blood pressure of the participants also increased (from an increase of 66 beats/minute to an average 73bpm) from an average 108 millimetres mercury/mmHg, to an average 117mmHg. Researchers discovered that nicotine-containing ecigarettes caused temporary narrowing of blood vessels in volunteers.

Volunteers who used e-cigarettes without nicotine did not notice any effects.

Our results show that e-cigarettes containing nicotine have the same effects on the body as traditional cigarettes. We are concerned about the effect of blood clots because it can cause blood vessels to narrowen and clog up over time, which could lead to strokes and heart attacks." Gustaf Lyytinen is a researcher at the Institute and a physician at Helsingborg Hospital.

Although the health effects of traditional cigarettes and nicotine are well-known, the researchers noted that e-cigarettes are still relatively new. They are also less likely to cause harm than smoking.