American college students who vape may be at a higher risk of eating disorders

A study of more than 51,000 American colleges students found that vaping or e-cigarette use was associated with a higher risk of developing an eating disorder.

The findings were introduced in the journal Eating Behaviors.

The nearly 51,000 students were recruited as part of the 2018-2019 Healthy Minds Study.

“Preliminary research has shown associations between vaping and eating disorder symptoms, however, there remain gaps in this knowledge among college students,” according to the findings.

“The aim of this study was to determine the associations between vaping and a self-reported lifetime eating disorder diagnosis and eating disorder risk among a large sample of college students.”

From the findings, researchers found that 19% of the participants reported vaping over the last month or so, while 3.7% self-reported an eating disorder diagnosis, and 25% were at a higher risk of an eating disorder.

“Among a large sample of college students, vaping or e-cigarette use was associated with a self-reported lifetime eating disorder diagnosis and elevated eating disorder risk, which may exacerbate the many medical complications associated with eating disorder behaviors,” the authors unveiled in their findings. “Clinical professionals should screen for eating disorder behaviors among college students who report vaping or e-cigarette use to monitor symptoms and medical complications.”

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