Exciting: New ‘Seaweed-Based’ Alzheimer’s Drug Shows Extreme Promise

It has been nearly 20 years since a new drug has been developed to combat Alzheimer’s disease. Thankfully, it won’t be another 20 years until such a feat is accomplished, as a new drug called Oligomannate has been approved for the treatment of “mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and improving cognitive function.” Only thing is – the approval takes place in China, and has yet to go through the proper channels to become approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Dementia, used to describe a decline in cognitive function and memory, is said to be one of the costliest conditions we’re facing today. The prevalence of dementia is shocking, with an estimated 50 million people worldwide living with the condition in 2017. Worse, this number will almost double every 20 years.

Unfortunately, there has been little headway in terms of medical advancement in reliably treating and preventing the disease. Of course, we’ve made strides in discovering what might be the root causes and how to combat those root causes, but no real solution has yet to surface from the medical field.

As explained by Dr. Ronald Petersen, it’s hypothesized that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the presence of plaques and tangles in the brain. These plaques, known as amyloid plaques, build up in the brain in much the same way that plaques can build up in our arteries, causing the neural pathways to be slowed and damaged. Further, once these amyloid plaques are misprocessed and present in the brain, it leads to the misprocessing of something known as tau proteins, which leads to tangles in the brain, the death of nerve cells, and ultimately, dementia.

A Glimmer of Hope – Seaweed

In 1997, Geng Meiyu at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other researchers discovered how a sugar found in seaweed could somehow play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. What they didn’t realize was that more than 20 years later the research would expand into something that could be extremely exciting for the world at large.

Interestingly, it has been observed that there’s a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s among those who eat lots of seaweed, leading the researchers to hone in on the possible preventative connection.

Geng Meiyu and researchers published a paper outlining how the molecule found in seaweed reduces the formation of a protein harmful to neurons while also regulating the bacterium colonies in the gut to reduce the risk of brain inflammation. This means that Oligomannate not only relieves individuals of dementia symptoms, but also targets what is said to be the root cause of the disease – the amyloid plaques.

Though we should know by now that gut health influences our body on every level, this research “doubles down” on just how strong the connection between the gut and brain health truly is.

“These results advance our understanding of the mechanisms that play a role in Alzheimer’s disease and imply that the gut microbiome is a valid target for the development of therapies,” neurologist Philip Scheltens, who advises Green Valley and heads the Alzheimer Center Amsterdam, said in the statement.

For more than 20 years, pharmaceutical companies have invested hundreds of billions of dollars on Alzheimer’s drugs. South China Morning Post reports that more than 320 drugs were brought to clinical trial, with only 5 being approved for clinical use to relieve dementia symptoms. Unfortunately, none of them rose above the challenge that is Alzheimer’s, leading to the closure of numerous Alzheimer’s-related programs.

Though Oligomannate will be approved “very soon” in China, it will have to go through numerous hurdles to get approval by other government bodies to be used in places like Europe and the U.S.

Alzheimer’s is scary. Though everyone should practice every natural, preventative solution as possible, such as exercising regularly, training your brain with mental exercises, and consuming brain-healthy coconut oil, it’s exciting to see any advancement into treating an ailment we have largely failed at treating.

How Tai Chi Proves to be a Gentle Solution for Improving Heart Health

Heart attacks are often the unfortunate culmination of years of unhealthy lifestyle choices, and it’s necessary to lead a healthier lifestyle to avoid having another one. Some of the dietary and exercise changes and rehabilitation programs that doctors recommend to heart patients can seem more than a little intimidating, especially for inactive people. But a small study suggests that Tai Chi can be a gentle way for people with heart problems to get moving at a less overwhelming pace. [1]

Heart disease kills 600,000 people in the U.S. every year and is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths. It’s the leading cause of death in both men and women. [2]

For many, a heart attack isn’t a once-and-done deal. Of the 735,000 people in the U.S. who suffer a heart attack every year, 2 out of 7 will have already experienced one.

Read: Health Benefits of Tai Chi – a Chinese Art

The study was conducted by Dr. Elena Salmoriago-Blotcher, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Brown University’s Warren Alpert School of Medicine & Public Health, and colleagues. Twenty-nine adults who had recently had a heart attack were randomly assigned to two groups. [1]

One group practiced Tai Chi twice a week for 12 weeks by attending sessions at the hospital. The participants in the other group attended Tai Chi sessions three times a week for 24 weeks. Both groups received DVDs so that they could practice at home.

Most of the 21 men and eight women in the study had also had a previous heart attack or had undergone bypass surgery to clear a blocked artery. All the volunteers were physically inactive and had rejected conventional cardiac rehabilitation, but expressed an interest in Tai Chi. Additionally, all continued to have high cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, overweight, and smoking. [2]

After 3 months, those in the group that practiced Tai Chi more frequently were more physically active, compared with those in the less-frequent group. This was even more true after six month – those who were asked to attend Tai Chi sessions three times a week were actually practicing it even more, and they were engaging in more physical activity outside of the sessions, such as riding their bikes and climbing up and down the stairs at home – activities they had previously found intimidating.

Salmoriago-Blotcher said:

“People like it, and they came. We retained pretty much everybody for the length of the study. And there is a preliminary indication that the longer program may improve physical activity. We changed behavior.” [1]

The study was intended to determine whether Tai Chi could replace traditional exercise programs associated with cardiac rehabilitation. What researchers actually wanted to find out was whether people who find exercise off-putting would engage in Tai Chi as a way of becoming more physically active.

Due to the small size of the study, Salmoriago-Blotcher and her team couldn’t determine whether the activity changed the volunteers’ fitness levels and other measures of metabolic health.

Read: Meditative Practices Alter Genes

After someone has a heart attack, it’s not uncommon for that person to worry that strenuous exercise could cause another cardiac event. More than 60% of patients turn down conventional cardiac rehabilitation. The findings suggest that Tai Chi could serve as a gentle, less nerve-wracking way for cardiac patients to start getting physical activity, while improving physical fitness and lowering the risk of another heart attack. [1] [2]

“Tai chi is an interesting, promising exercise option. I think based on what we found, it’s a reasonable and safe step to offer tai chi within cardiac rehab. If someone says they are afraid of exercising, we could ask if they are interested in doing tai chi,” Salmoriago-Blotcher said. [1]

And once those patients become more physically active through Tai Chi, doctors can consider switching them to a more intensive traditional cardiac rehab program.

Salmoirago-Blotcher added:

“If proven effective in larger studies, it might be possible to offer it as an exercise option within a rehab center as a bridge to more strenuous exercise, or in a community setting with the educational components of rehab delivered outside of a medical setting.” [2]

The study, which was by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAMA).

Additional Sources:

[1] Time

[2] Medical News Today

Nature Slashes the Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease, and More

Sure, Netflix is full of great shows and movies to watch, but it can never replace nature in providing a natural and euphoric boost in both physical and mental health. Many studies have showcased the powerful benefits nature can offer, proving that spending time outside slashes the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and stress. [1]

Researchers from the University of East Anglia in the U.K. reviewed data on almost 300 million people from 20 countries, including the U.S., and assessed the effect of nature on people in Australia, Europe, and Japan – where Shinrin yoku, also known as forest bathing, is popular – to reach their conclusions.

In the study, “green space” was defined as open, undeveloped land with natural vegetation, as well as urban green spaces like parks and street greenery.

The researchers compared the health of people with little access to green spaces to the health of those with the greatest access to such areas.

A multitude of health benefits was linked to spending time in or near green spaces, though it’s not clear which factors of nature are most responsible for sparking such health benefits.

Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett, a Ph.D. student and lead author of the study, said:

“Spending time in nature certainly makes us feel healthier, but until now the impact on our long-term wellbeing hasn’t been fully understood. It reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and preterm birth, and increases sleep duration.

People living closer to nature also had reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, and stress. In fact, one of the really interesting things we found is that exposure to greenspace significantly reduces people’s levels of salivary cortisol – a marker of stress.”

She suggested that Japan has the “right idea.”

Living near green spaces provides people greater opportunities for physical activity and socializing. Moreover, the researchers said that being outdoors exposes people to a diverse variety of bacteria that boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.

Inflammation is linked to heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Andy Jones, a professor at UEA and study co-author, said:

“We often reach for medication when we’re unwell, but exposure to health-promoting environments is increasingly recognized as both preventing and helping treat disease. Our study shows that the size of these benefits can be enough to have a meaningful clinical impact.” [2]

Twohig-Bennett said she hopes the findings will encourage people to make the most of green areas, and nudge policymakers and town planters toward creating, cleaning up, and maintaining parks and other green spaces.

Previous studies show that spending time in nature is good for both physical and mental health. A 2016 study published in Nature Scientific Reports shows that walking in a park or other green space for at least 30 minutes not only increases physical activity but lowers the risk of high blood pressure and depression.

A 2015 study found that city dwellers are more likely to be stressed, depressed, and struggle with mental illness. People living in urban areas had a 20% higher risk of anxiety disorders, a 40% greater risk of mood disorders, and were twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as people who live in rural areas.

Sources:

[1] Daily Mail

[2] LaboratoryEquipment

Dementia Rates in the U.S. Fell 24% from 2000 to 2012, But…

The thought of developing dementia in old age is terrifying for many, especially if they’ve watched a loved one suffer under its grip. A bit of good news, though; a study in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that overall dementia rates in the United States fell 24% from 2000 to 2012. That means about one million fewer Americans had the condition. [1]

Dr. Kenneth Langa, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan and a coauthor of the new study, said:

“It’s definitely good news. Even without a cure for Alzheimer’s disease or a new medication, there are things that we can do socially and medically and behaviorally that can significantly reduce the risk.”

The term “dementia” refers to a loss of memory or other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease, caused by a buildup of plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain, is the most common form of dementia. Vascular dementia, which can occur after a person has suffered a stroke, is the 2nd most common form of dementia.

Source: Alzheimer’s San Diego

Determining the Numbers

The study, which began in 1992, looked at over 21,000 adults over age 50. Data were collected on the individuals every two years. Researchers conducted detailed interviews with the participants about their health, income, cognitive ability, and life circumstances. The investigators also conducted physical tests and body measurements, and took blood and saliva samples. They discovered the following:

  • Dementia prevalence among adults 65 and older decreased from 11.6% in 2000 to 8.8% in 2012
  • Participants who had more education had the lowest rates of dementia
  • The average years of education increased significantly from 11.8 years in 2000 to 12.7 years in 2012.
  • The drop in dementia prevalence occurred despite a significant age- and sex-adjusted increase in between the data-collection years in the cardiovascular risk profile (e.g., prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity) among older U.S. adults.

Read: How to Stay Sharp and Avoid Dementia as You Age

Contributing Factors to the Decline

The reasons behind the drop in dementia rates aren’t clear, but there are some findings that stand out.

The JAMA study shows – as do past studies – that both early education and lifelong education appear to help keep the mind healthy and sharp. The authors suggest that perhaps education ought to be viewed as “a potent strategy for the primary prevention of dementia in both high- and low-income countries around the world.”

In fact, according to the authors, past studies have shown that:

“…the relationships among education, brain biology, and cognitive function are complex and likely multidirectional; for instance, a number of recent population-based studies have shown genetic links with level of educational attainment and with the risk of cognitive decline in later life.”

Additionally, highly educated individuals are more likely to not smoke, to get more exercise, and to eat a healthier diet. This is also true of people who have more cognitively complex occupations.

Source: Public Health England

Better access to healthcare also played a role in the decline, the researchers wrote.

Dementia is Still a Serious Problem

The advice embedded in the results is clear: stay active, both physically and mentally. Never stop learning. Eat right. Don’t smoke. More people are getting the message that staying propped up in front of the TV is hazardous to health, and are heeding the warning.

Overall, the drop in dementia rates could be largely due to the better control of cardiovascular risk factors, like high blood pressure and diabetes.

Keith Fargo is the director of scientific programs and outreach, medical and scientific relations, at the Alzheimer’s Association. He said:

“If you control those risk factors, it’s natural to expect that rates of vascular dementia will go down. It’s also reasonable to expect that Alzheimer’s-related dementia may go down as well because now, instead of having both, you have Alzheimer’s in an overall healthier brain.” [2]

Read: How Music ‘Radically’ Improves the Brain, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s

However, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss remain a huge public health challenge and a significant financial burden. There are currently about five million Americans suffering with dementia. As people continue to live longer, that number is expected to triple by 2050. [1]

The number of Americans over age 65 is expected to double by 2050, to 84 million. That means that even if the percentage of elderly people who develop dementia is smaller than previously estimated, the total number of Americans with dementia will continue to increase, according to Fargo. He said:

“Alzheimer’s is going to remain the public health crisis of our time, even with modestly reduced rates.”

Dr. Sam Gandy, director of the Center for Cognitive Health at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, said:

“What we need now is to educate middle-aged people, since that’s where the risk factors are most important. Unfortunately, as the baby boomers turn 80, I worry that the silver tsunami will swamp this benefit.” [2]

Sources:

[1] CNN

[2] UPI

Alert.Psychnews

Alzheimer’s San Diego

Public Health England

It’s a Mindset: In Order to Get Fit, You Must THINK of Yourself as Fit

If you know you’re not as physically active as you should be, stop thinking about it and start doing something about it. People who view themselves as lazy compared to others are more likely to die at a younger age, even if their actual activity levels were the same. [1]

That means people who thought they were less active than their peers likely weren’t reaping the full benefits of exercise, all because of their negative attitude.

Lead author Octavia Zahrt, a Stanford PhD student in organizational behavior, says she knows firsthand how negative self-talk and toxic comparisons can make a solid effort seem lazy.

She explained:

“I am from Germany, and back there I felt really good about my activity level. I biked to work, and went to the gym maybe once a week.”

Zahrt says that when she moved to California, she was suddenly “surrounded by people who exercise all the time. Compared to them I felt really inactive, and I developed what I know now was a really negative mindset about my physical activity.”

The ‘Side Effects’ of Negative Attitudes

That feeling of inadequacy led Zahrt and her faculty adviser, Alia Crum, PhD, to study the possible effects of such an attitude on long-term health. The duo analyzed data from more than 61,000 adults who were surveyed between 1990 and 2006 followed until 2011.

The participants were asked about their activity levels, and some were given accelerometers to wear so they could track their real-time activity for a week. All of the volunteers were also asked, “Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about as active as other persons your age?”

The researchers found that those who believed they were less active than others were 71% more likely to die during the study’s follow-up period. That was the case even after the team adjusted for disability, general health status, and demographics, plus actual activity levels.

Pretty heavy stuff when you think about it – you could be bending and lifting a lot at work, or weeding the garden and mowing the lawn every weekend and still have a startling higher risk of death just because you don’t consider those activities “exercise” and you don’t consider yourself “fit.”

The researchers found that, most of the time, the participants underestimated their activity levels when comparing themselves to others.

Zahrt said:

“It can be easy to compare how much exercise we get with the people around us, as opposed to what’s recommended for everyone. Plus, a lot of people think that exercise has to mean running or going to the gym, and they don’t give themselves credit for all of the other activity they do – cleaning their house, walking to the store, carrying their kids, those sorts of things.”

I hate to credit a saying that’s become so cliché, but in this case, it’s gospel truth: Attitude is everything.

Crum first studied the “placebo effect” of exercise a decade ago. She explained:

“These women were getting lots of exercise, but when we asked them they didn’t have the mindset that their work was good exercise.” [2]

The participants – all hotel attendants – were given a presentation explaining that all the heavy lifting, walking, and physical labor they did at work was good exercise. Then, Crum and her teammates tracked the women for a month.

Crum said:

“The women who started to look at their work as good exercise had improvements in blood pressure and body fat.”

She added:

“What’s surprising to me is how robust the accumulated evidence is on the power of mindset in shaping our health, and yet people are still so shocked when they hear results like this.” [1]

Yes – How You Think Affects Your Health (and much More)

People shouldn’t be shocked because there is a ridiculous amount of scientific evidence that how you think affects your health, for better or for worse. Seriously, let’s look at just a few examples.

In the End…

You have to see yourself as an active person, but be careful; it would be so simple to actually backslide and become less active than you should be. It’s important to recognize the activeness revolving around certain activities, but be sure not to over-estimate the value of those activities and then avoid other exercises because of it.

One more thing – and I’ll be blunt… If your idea of “exercise” is walking to the fridge, or going to the mall once a month, telling yourself you’re plenty active won’t make it so. You deserve to be realistic with yourself.

Crum said:

“This is not an excuse to just stop doing anything but believe you’re doing everything. It’s a reminder that, yes, you should work to get active in your life – but you should also be mindful of those negative thoughts that can creep in and the effects they might have.

Just because you didn’t get to that Spin class or that fancy new fitness class, doesn’t mean you’re not as healthy as those who do.” [1]

Zahrt agreed, adding:

“If we can change our perceptions to view all activity as good activity, we think that could be a first and really important step to improving our health.”

Sources:

[1] Health

[2] NPR

A Third of Fast-Food Packaging Contains Dangerous Chemicals

Most people are aware that fast-food has no redeeming qualities, but never give a second thought to the paper their burgers come wrapped in. But even fast-food packaging can make you sick, as pointed out by research published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. This is yet another example of how fast-food wrappers contain dangerous chemicals – called fluorinated chemicals. [1]

Researchers tested 400 fast-food packages from various restaurants in the U.S. and found that more than a third of them contained poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. These chemicals are everywhere – in non-stick pans, pizza boxes, cell phones, and even in backpacks. In fast-food wrappers, they are used as a coating to repel moisture. [2]

Two PFAS – perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) – have been shown to cause:

  • Testicular and kidney cancer
  • Liver malfunction
  • Hormonal changes
  • Thyroid disruption
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Lower birth weight and size
Source: Run Healthy Lifestyle

Xenia Trier, a chemist at the European Environment Agency who was not involved with the study, says:

“These chemicals are very convenient. You can use something like paper. If it’s untreated it will soak fat, it will soak water. As such it’s not very efficient as a food container. If you impregnate these food containers with these [chemicals] they get this magic—they work for everything.” [1]

She adds that, “unfortunately we do know they are quite toxic and have been associated with many diseases.”

Past studies have shown that PFASs on food packaging can seep into your food, said Laurel Schaider, a research scientist at the Silent Spring Institute and one of the authors of the paper.

She said:

“These studies have found that the extent of migration depends on the temperature of the food, the type of food and how long the food is in contact with the paper. And it depends on which specific chemical” is in the packaging. [2]

In 2011, after the FDA reviewed packaging materials, several manufacturers voluntarily agreed to stop using PFASs in their food packaging products. The presence of elements of fluorine may not be manufacturers’ fault, the researchers say. Rather, it may have entered the system from the use of recycled materials. [3]

Recently, the FDA has been urged once again to launch a study into the consequences of using chemicals like phthalates in food packagingThis is more proof that our food packaging is tainted with toxins.

Would You Like Toxins With That?

For the study, which involved researchers from 5 different institutions, more than 400 samples of fast-food packaging was collected from 27 leading U.S. food chains, and divided into 6 categories:

  • Food contact paper (sandwich wrappers and pastry bags)
  • Food contact paperboard (pizza and French fry boxes)
  • Non-contact paper (outer bags)
  • Paper cups
  • Other beverage containers (milk and juice containers)
  • Miscellaneous (lids) [2]

Food contact papers were divided into 3 categories:

  • Sandwiches
  • Burgers
  • Fried foods

Of the food contact papers tested, 46% tested positive for fluorine, a marker of PFASs. Food contact paperboard came in 2nd, at 20%, followed by other beverage containers at 16%. All of the other categories tested negative for fluorine.

Tex-Mex food packaging and dessert and bread wrappers were the worst offenders, and were more likely to contain fluorine than other categories of food packaging. [3]

Avoiding PFASs

Hopefully you don’t eat fast-food often, but even if you’re a once-in-a-while diet cheater, there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself from PFASs:

  • Take food out of its packaging immediately.
  • Ask that your fries of dessert be served in a paper cup or noncontact paper bag – that outer bag that all your items are usually put into when you get your food. [2]

There are plenty of fluorine-free products that manufacturers can use, so if the idea of eating something that was wrapped in chemicals used to main raincoats bothers you, pressure your fast-food chains to cut out PFASs.

Schaider says:

“I think that this study provides yet another reason to support the idea that eating more fresh food and more home-cooked meals is better for our health, but it’s hard to avoid the convenience of fast food, especially in people’s busy lives.”

Sources:

[1] Popular Science

[2] CNN

[3] Consumer Affairs

Run Healthy Lifestyle

Could Probiotics Be Used as a Viable Treatment for Depression and IBS?

Many depression sufferers also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and a small study suggests that taking probiotics may ease both conditions.

Researchers from McMaster University in Canada conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial that uncovered a link between probiotics and mood improvement in 44 adults with IBS and mild to moderate depression or anxiety. The study also showed that probiotics caused changes in regions of the brain related to emotional processing. [1]

For the study, participants were divided into two groups and followed for 10 weeks. Half of the subjects took a daily dose of the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum, and the other half took a placebo.

After 6 weeks, 64% of those who took probiotics had decreased depression scores, compared to 32% of those who took a placebo.

Functional MRI scans revealed that improved depression scores were associated with changes in several areas of the brain involved in mood regulation. The authors wrote that those changes “support the notion that this probiotic has anti-depressive properties.” [2]

The findings did not indicate that those in the probiotic group experienced statistically significant independent changes in anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, or pain. But those in the probiotic group did report improvements in overall symptoms of IBS and in quality of life.

“In a placebo-controlled trial, we found that the probiotic BL reduces depression but not anxiety scores and increases quality of life in patients with IBS. These improvements were associated with changes in brain activation patterns that indicate that this probiotic reduces limbic reactivity,” the study concluded.

Read: Our Gut is Our “Second Brain” – It Affects Mood and Health More than You Know

One explanation for the improved depression scores could be that as their physical symptoms improved, their emotional symptoms followed suit. But Dr. Roger McIntyre, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto, thinks it’s more likely that the probiotics may actually be working on the brain itself.

“We know that one part of the brain, the amygdala, tends to be red hot in people with depression, and it seemed to cool down with this intervention. It provides more scientific believability that something in the brain, at a very biological level, seems to be affected by this probiotic.” [2]

Gastroenterologist and lead researcher Premysl Bercik, M.D., added:

“This study shows that consumption of a specific probiotic can improve both gut symptoms and psychological issues in IBS. This opens new avenues not only for the treatment of patients with functional bowel disorders but also for patients with primary psychiatric diseases.” [3]

Antidepressants are known to disturb “good” gut bacteria, so probiotic supplements – which produced few side effects in the study – could be a safe, natural way to treat depression.

The probiotics were manufactured and provided by Nestlé, which also funded the study. The food company reportedly was not involved in collection, analysis, or interpretation of the study data.

Sources:

[1] Gastroenterology

[2] Time

[3] Science Daily

Study: Vaping Raises Risk of Heart Attacks, Strokes, Depression

E-cigarettes may be an effective way of helping people to quit smoking regular cigarettes, but studies show that vaping is far from safe. According to the research, people who vape are more likely to suffer heart attacks, strokes, and depression.

Using the National Health Interview Survey, researchers compared people who reported vaping to with those not reporting any e-cigarette use and found that e-cigarette users had a:

  • 55% greater risk of having a heart attack
  • 44% greater risk of circulatory problems
  • 30% higher risk of having a stroke
  • 10% higher risk of coronary artery disease

The risks were found to be significant for both regular e-cigarette users and those who only imbibe occasionally, though occasional users had slightly lower risks.

Read: Flavored Vape Juice Creates Irritating Chemicals in E-Cigarettes

In a news release, Mohinder Vindhyal, a researcher at the University of Kansas School and the study lead author, said: [2]

“Until now, little has been known about cardiovascular events relative to e-cigarette use. These data are a real wake-up call and should prompt more action and awareness about the dangers of e-cigarettes.”

Those who reported vaping were more likely to complain of depression, anxiety, and emotional problems, the study found. These problems were 2.2-fold more common with e-cigarette use, and the risk was higher among vapers than among tobacco smokers. [1]

Read: Even Without Nicotine, E-Cigarette Flavorings may Damage Blood Vessels

Vindhyal said: [2]

“When the risk of heart attack increases by as much as 55% among e-cigarette users compared to nonsmokers, I wouldn’t want any of my patients nor my family members to vape. When we dug deeper, we found that regardless of how frequently someone uses e-cigarettes, daily or just on some days, they are still more likely to have a heart attack or coronary artery disease.”

I suppose the main question is: did vaping lead to issues such as heart attacks, strokes, and depression in this study, or are people who experience these issues simply more likely to vape than others?

Sources:

[1] MedPage Today

[2] UPI