Recreational cocaine use linked to conditions that cause heart attack
People who regularly use cocaine socially have stiffer arteries, higher blood pressure and thicker heart wall muscle than non-users, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2012.
Australian researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure the effects of cocaine in 20 otherwise healthy adults who chronically used the illegal substance. Compared with 20 non-users, cocaine users had higher rates of multiple factors associated with higher risks of heart attack and stroke:
- 30 percent to 35 percent increase in aortic stiffening;
- 8 mm Hg higher systolic blood pressure; and
- 18 percent greater thickness of the heart's left ventricle wall.
"It's the perfect heart attack drug," she said.
The combined effects of greater blood clotting, increased heart stress and more blood vessel constriction put users at high risk of a spontaneous heart attack, said Figtree, an associate professor of medicine at Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney in Australia.
A surge of cocaine-related infarcts at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital led the team to study the incidence of cardiovascular abnormalities in apparently healthy, regular cocaine users.
Researchers recruited recreational cocaine users (17 men, 3 women, average age 37) who reported using cocaine at least once a month for the last year. They completed questionnaires about their drug use, cardiovascular risk factors and socioeconomic status. At least 48 hours after their last cocaine use, volunteers had their blood pressure taken and then underwent cardiac MRIs to assess heart mass and levels of heart and aortic functioning. Researchers performed direct comparisons with similar aged non-users, taking into account history of diabetes, smoking and other drug use.
In the study, investigators observed higher systolic blood pressure and increased arterial stiffness, in association with heart wall thickening.
"Stiffer vessels are known to be associated with elevated systolic blood pressure. As a result, the heart is required to work harder, and its walls become hypertrophied or thicker," Figtree said.
Researchers didn't find evidence of earlier silent heart attacks among cocaine users, contrary to previous studies.
The study is the first to document persistent hypertension and vascular stiffness in cocaine users, long after the acute effects have worn off. Previous studies have shown the immediate effects of cocaine on the heart, and primarily among cocaine addicts—not social users.
Although it is currently unclear how repeated social cocaine use causes blood vessels to stiffen, researchers are investigating a signaling pathway that might be activated to cause such a response.
The study outcomes underscore the need for education about the short- and long-term effects of cocaine use to help prevent heart attack and stroke, Figtree said.
Provided by American Heart Association
- Researchers identify key step in cocaine-induced heart enlargement, sudden death Sep 07, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Abnormal brain structure linked to chronic cocaine abuse Jun 21, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Cocaine use related to level of education achieved Aug 29, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Research indicates that a common heart drug may reduce cocaine cravings Feb 27, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Systolic and diastolic blood pressures together more useful for predicting cardiovascular risk Feb 18, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Question of reflection and transmission of TEM wave in normal incidenc
1 hour ago Suppose TEM wave in +z normal to a boundary on xy plane at z=0. We know *E* & *H* are tangential to the boundary. Let ##\vec E_i=\hat x E##, be the...
the rudyak-krasnolutski effective potencial
2 hours ago Hi ... anyone now how to calculate or the formula of the rudyak-krasnolutski EFFECTIVE potencial ? the effective potencial includes the angular...
Normal force for a lever model
3 hours ago My model is a lever on a table top. One arm is horizontal on the table, while the other arm is raised at an angle alpha. I'm assuming the weight of...
gravity is std. therefore can we rate a 'mass at height' by watts?
9 hours ago For example.... wind turbines are primarily listed by their wattage (1.5MW etc.) Presumably their output is varied according to rotational speed, so...
Calculating on-axis elements of a solenoid
21 hours ago I wanted to mention that this solenoid has many winds over many layers. The thickness of the windings is 2.4 inches coming off of the engineering...
latitude & longitude & air pressure
22 hours ago Hi there, I have a peculiar question. Imagine that you are in a earth position, obtained by google, that gives you the latitude and longitude....
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
(HealthDay)—In patients who have previously been considered difficult to image, dual-source cardiac (DSC) computed tomography (CT) can identify clinically significant coronary artery disease, according ...
Cardiology 10 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
UCLA researchers examining outcomes for advanced heart-failure patients over the past two decades have found that, coinciding with the increased availability and use of new therapies, overall mortality has decreased and sudden ...
Cardiology 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
22 May 2013, Paris, France: The Lotus Valve, a second-generation transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) device, was successfully implanted in all of the first 60 patients in results from REPRISE II reported at EuroPCR ...
Cardiology 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Costs to treat stroke are projected to more than double and the number of people having strokes may increase 20 percent by 2030, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
Cardiology May 22, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Blood thinners are the preferred treatment option to prevent heart attacks, blood clots and stroke, but they are not without risk, and not just because of their side effects. These high-risk drugs, known as anticoagulants, ...
Cardiology May 22, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
55 minutes ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Treatment with high potency statins (especially atorvastatin and simvastatin) may increase the risk of developing diabetes, suggests a paper published today in BMJ.
28 seconds ago | not rated yet | 0
People eating at fast food restaurants largely underestimate the calorie content of meals, especially large ones, according to a paper published today in BMJ.
27 seconds ago | not rated yet | 0
Two out of five medical students have an unconscious bias against obese people, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study is published online ahead of print in the Journal of ...
29 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
International efforts to combat a new pneumonia-like virus that has now killed 22 people are being slowed by unclear rules and competition for the potentially profitable rights to disease samples, the head ...
30 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Breast cancer characterized as "triple negative" carries a poor prognosis, with limited treatment options. In some cases, chemotherapy doesn't kill the cancer cells the way it's supposed to. New research from Western University ...
1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0