An analysis of Canadian survey data found an association between e-cigarette smoking and asthma. Not only did vaping increase the odds for asthma by 19%; those who had asthma were also more prone to exacerbation.
Every 2 years, the Canadian Community Health Survey gathers health-related data of Canadian inhabitants at the regional level. The 2019 survey in Ontario reported 23% of >14,000 adolescents in student grades 7–12 as e-cigarette (EC) smokers, a marked rise from the previous survey. “Our study asks the following questions: do EC users have an increased risk of asthma, and if so, do they incur higher odds of an asthma attack,” Prof. Theresa To (The Hospital for Sick Children, ON, Canada) explained . The new cross-sectional study was based on data from individuals aged ≥12 years partaking in 2 cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey dated 2015/2016 and 2017/2018 . For the case-control design, cases were defined as those self-reporting EC smoking within the last 30 days. To each case, 5 non-vaping controls were matched by age, sex, BMI, smoking, and socioeconomic status, employing a propensity score. The latter is a common statistic technique to reduce bias due to confounding variables in observational studies.
Together, the study included 17,190 matched subjects of whom 3.1% met the criteria of EC users. Hence, 1 in 32 participants smoked EC within the last 30 days. The logistic regression that controlled for potential confounders associated with asthma, including the variables utilised for the propensity score, identified 19% elevated odds of asthma in EC-using persons. Moreover, EC-vaping individuals with asthma had a 24% higher likelihood of having experienced an asthma attack in the last year. Interestingly, 50% of EC users also smoked cigarettes on a daily basis, whereas only 15% in the group not using EC did. “Of the EC users, about 15% reported fair to poor mental health compared with 7% amongst non-user,” Prof. To further elaborated. “These findings suggest that EC use is a modifiable risk factor for asthma to be considered in the primary care of youths and adults,” concluded Prof. To.
- To T, et al. Does Vaping Increase the Odds of Asthma? A Canadian Community Health Survey Study. Session TP16: Clinical and research updates on tobacco cessation, vaping, and e-cigarettes. ATS 2021 International Conference, 14-19 May.
- Mehra VM, et al. BMC Public Health 2019;19(1):1208.
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