Time-varying association between cigarette and ENDS use on incident hypertension among US adults: A prospective longitudinal study


Objective: Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products have emerged as the most popular alternative to combustible cigarettes. However, ENDS products contain potentially dangerous toxicants and chemical compounds, and little is known about their health effects. The aim of the present study was to examine the prospective association between cigarette and ENDS use on self-reported incident hypertension.

Design: Longitudinal cohort study.

Setting: Nationally representative sample of the civilian, non-institutionalised population in the USA.

Participants: 17 539 adults aged 18 or older who participated at follow-up and had no self-reported heart condition or previous diagnosis of hypertension or high cholesterol at baseline.

Measures: We constructed a time-varying tobacco exposure, lagged by one wave, defined as no use, exclusive established use (every day or some days) of ENDS or cigarettes, and dual use. We controlled for demographics (age, sex, race/ethnicity and household income), clinical risk factors (family history of heart attack, obesity, diabetes and binge drinking) and smoking history (cigarette pack-years).

Outcomes: Self-reported incident hypertension diagnosis.

Results: The self-reported incidence of hypertension was 3.7% between wave 2 and wave 5. At baseline, 18.0% (n=5570) of respondents exclusively smoked cigarettes; 1.1% (n=336) exclusively used ENDS; and 1.7% (n=570) were dual users. In adjusted models, exclusive cigarette use was associated with an increased risk of self-reported incident hypertension compared with non-use (adjusted HR (aHR) 1.21, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.38), while exclusive ENDS use (aHR 1.00, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.47) and dual use (aHR 1.15, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.52) were not.

Conclusions: We found that smoking increased the risk of self-reported hypertension, but ENDS use did not. These results highlight the importance of using prospective longitudinal data to examine the health effects of ENDS use.

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