American Heart Association: Vapes Are Dangerous For A Third Of Residents And People From East Asia
Biologists have found that e-cigarette vapor can be especially dangerous for people with a mutation in the ALDH2 gene. It is especially common in Central and East Asians, according to the press service of the American Heart Association (AHA).
"This mutation significantly increases the chances of developing heart and vascular diseases, as well as cancer; this is especially true for those who drink and smoke a lot. Of course, there are genetic tests for such forms of ALDH2. But such variants of the gene can be easily detected, even by looking at the complexion of a drunk person," said one of the authors of the work, associate professor at Stanford University Eric R. Gross.
The ALDH2 gene is responsible for breaking down and removing various aldehydes from the body – substances that are especially common in alcoholic beverages. The appearance of mutations in this section of DNA dramatically slows down the removal of aldehydes from the body; this, in particular, is manifested in the fact that the face of carriers of a similar version of ALDH2 when drinking alcohol turns red sharply since their heart rate increases sharply.
In total, about 8% of the World's population has this mutation. However, among people from Central or East Asian countries, it is more common – about one in three. Therefore, alcohol and tobacco are considered especially dangerous for Asians.
The new danger of vaping
Gross and his colleagues drew attention to the fact that large amounts of aldehydes contained in a pair of electronic cigarettes. Therefore, it can be dangerous for carriers of such mutations. Scientists decided to test how vaping will affect the health of mice with artificially damaged ALDH2 gene.
During these experiments, scientists placed rodents in a special cage, where they breathed either clean air four times a day for seven minutes or an analog of vapor from electronic cigarettes, which did not contain nicotine or aromatic additives. At the same time, the researchers monitored how the rodents ' health status changed and tracked the long-term effects of aldehydes on their hearts and blood vessels.
As shown by these observations, when mice with a mutant version of ALDH2 inhaled vapor from vapes, their heart rate increased by 24%, while in healthy rodents in the same conditions, the pulse increased by only 11%.
Besides, in just ten days of life in such conditions, as scientists note, in the heart tissue of rodents, many foci of inflammation appeared. Moreover, individuals with defective ALDH2 had twice as many of them; this significantly increases the risk of developing cancer, atherosclerosis, and several other cardiac diseases.
All this, according to scientists, suggests that the vapor of e-cigarettes is dangerous to human and animal health by itself, even without the addition of nicotine and aromatic additives, especially for carriers of mutations in ALDH2. This should be taken into account by both doctors and potential smokers themselves, gross and his colleagues conclude.