Studies have basic errors

    A cardiologist and tobacco-harm-reduction researcher has said that widely-reported studies claiming to show that electronic-cigarette use is associated with an increased risk of heart disease are misleading, according to astoryby Diane Caruana at

    “They do not prove an increased risk and of course they do not prove that no such risk exists,” Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos (pictured) was quoted as saying. “They simply cannot address the question of whether e-cigarettes increase the risk for heart disease or not.”

    Caruana’s story said that a recently-published study and conference abstract released earlier this month had concluded that daily e-cigarette use, adjusted for smoking conventional cigarettes as well as other risk factors, was associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction.

    Media coverage of the conference abstract had stated thatE-cigarettes linked to higher risk of stroke, heart attack, diseased arteries.

    But Farsalinos responded to these claims by saying that both conclusions were wrong and constituted epidemiological malpractice and misinformation.

    Farsalinos said the claims were based on cross-sectional studies, which provided information about whether participants had heart disease and if they used e-cigarettes, but no information about whether the participants initiated e-cigarette use before or after the development of the disease, or for how long. So the participants could have started vaping following a heart disease diagnosis in order to quit smoking and improve their health.

    Farsalinos said he was confident that both the authors of the published study and the American Heart Association, which released the press statement for the conference abstract, must be aware that statements about “increased risk” were wrong.