In the study, available online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers examined data from more than 3 million people between 18 and 44 years old hospitalized from 2000 through 2003 in Texas and found a relationship between a diagnosis of amphetamine abuse and heart attack.
Individual case reports have suggested a link between heart attack and amphetamine abuse, but this is believed to be the first epidemiological study of a large group of people on the issue, said Dr. Arthur Westover, assistant professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern and the study’s lead author.
“Most people aren’t surprised that methamphetamines and amphetamines are bad for your health,” Dr. Westover said. “But we are concerned because heart attacks in the young are rare and can be very debilitating or deadly.”
Amphetamines are stimulants that can be used to treat medical conditions such as attention-deficient disorder. They are illegally abused as recreational drugs or performance enhancers.
The researchers note that abuse of methamphetamine, a type of amphetamine often sold illegally, is increasing in most major U.S. cities.
In Texas, the researchers found greater amphetamine abuse in the north and Panhandle regions.
“This paper sounds a warning to amphetamine abusers, alerts emergency department personnel to look for amphetamine abuse in young heart attack patients, and it allows us to focus preventive efforts in geographical areas where the problems are greatest,” said Dr. Robert W. Haley, chief of epidemiology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study. Dr. Haley holds the U.S. Armed Forces Veterans Distinguished Chair for Medical Research, Honoring America’s Gulf War Veterans.
“We’re also concerned that the number of amphetamine-related heart attacks could be increasing,” Dr. Westover said. “We’d rather raise the warning flag now than later. Hopefully, we can decrease the number of people who suffer heart attacks as the result of amphetamine abuse.”
Amphetamines may contribute to heart attacks by increasing heart rate and blood pressure and by causing inflammation and artery spasms that limit blood to the heart muscle. More research is needed to determine the exact mechanism of how amphetamines work on the heart, he said.
The current research could help doctors determine the cause of heart attacks in young adults, as well as treatment. Doctors recognizing an amphetamine-caused heart attack might choose not to administer a beta-blocker medication, a common treatment for heart attack, because it could interact with methamphetamine to make the heart attack worse.
The results could have broad implications in the general population, Dr. Westover said. Texas ranks 27th among all states in use of methamphetamine among 18- to 25-year-old adults, according to a 2006 government report.
“We’re talking about a state that is near the middle of prevalence of methamphetamine use in the United States, so it’s possible that the number of heart attacks in young adults in other states with a much higher prevalence of amphetamine abuse may be higher as well,” said Dr. Westover, who is a National Institutes of Health Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Scholar at UT Southwestern.Dr. Paul Nakonezny, assistant professor of clinical sciences and psychiatry at
LaKisha Ladson | EurekAlert!
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.
New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
22.06.2017 | Life Sciences
22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences