Vaping is considered to be a safer alternative to smoking. However, it is not completely harmless. A recent study has revealed that e-cigarette smokers are more likely to develop heart failure than others who never used them.

Heart failure is a condition where the heart does not pump enough blood, either because it cannot fill up with sufficient blood or because it is too weak to pump effectively. According to the estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 6 million adults in the United States are affected by heart failure.

In the latest study, one of the largest prospective studies to date that investigated possible links between vaping and heart failure, researchers examined 175,667 participants.

The team used data from surveys and electronic health records in All of Us, a large national study of U.S. adults run by the National Institutes of Health. The participants had an average age of 52 years. Out of the total participants, 3,242 participants developed heart failure after an average follow-up time of 45 months.

The analysis showed that e-cigarette users were 19% more at risk of developing heart failure compared with people who never used them. This was after accounting for a range of demographic and socioeconomic factors, other heart disease risk factors, and participants' past and current alcohol and tobacco use. The results indicated that the relationship between e-cigarettes and heart failure was not modified by the participants' age, sex, or smoking status.

The findings will be presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session.

"More and more studies are linking e-cigarettes to harmful effects and finding that it might not be as safe as previously thought. The difference we saw was substantial. It's worth considering the consequences to your health, especially with regard to heart health," said Dr. Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, the study's lead author.

The researchers said the results of the current study align with previous studies conducted in animals, which showed that e-cigarette use can lead to changes in the heart related to heart failure. Other studies in humans have also shown links but were inconclusive due to the inherent limitations of the cross-sectional study designs, smaller sample sizes, and the smaller number of heart failure events, Bene-Alhasan said.

"I think this research is long overdue, especially considering how much e-cigarettes have gained traction. We don't want to wait too long to find out eventually that it might be harmful, and by that time a lot of harm might already have been done. With more research, we will get to uncover a lot more about the potential health consequences and improve the information out to the public," Bene-Alhasan said.