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E-Cigarette Effects on Markers of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease Risk

E-Cigarette Effects on Markers of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease Risk

Principal Investigator(s):  Timothy Baker and James Stein

Funding Mechanism:  NIH Grant

ID number: 1R01HL139331-01A1

Award Date: 9/13/18

Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison


The goal of this study is to relate the acute and long-term use of e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes to cardiovascular and pulmonary disease biomarkers. Researchers will enroll four different “use-groups” of adults ages 18 and older (n=440): exclusive e-cigarette users (n=110), exclusive cigarette smokers (n=110), dual product users (who both smoke and vape; n=110), and never smokers (n=110). These groups reflect the primary decisions that individuals can make regarding their future tobacco use: to continue to smoke cigarettes, to switch to e-cigarettes, to use both cigarettes and e-cigarettes, or not to use these products. Product use will be related to biomarkers that accurately and reproducibly reflect mechanisms, injury, and future risks related to cardiovascular or pulmonary disease. Primary cardiovascular biomarkers measured will include brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (a measure of endothelial function) and carotid intima-media thickness, a measure of subclinical arterial injury and atherosclerosis. Primary pulmonary disease biomarkers will be measures of lung volumes and flow rates (predicted FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC) obtained by spirometry. Researchers will also conduct treadmill exercise stress testing (to assess aerobic fitness), perform electrocardiography (to measure heart rate and its variability), and measure blood pressure, lipids, HgbA1c, inflammation/oxidation markers (leukocyte count, C-reactive protein, urinary F2 isoprostanes) and exhaled nitric oxide. Study findings will yield new data regarding product use, subclinical arterial injury, atherosclerosis burden, arterial and pulmonary function, cardiac and aerobic fitness, cardiac autonomic dysregulation, systemic and pulmonary inflammation, and oxidative stress, as well as other key outcomes.