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Amphetamine use increases risk of acute MI

A study has found a modest though statistically significant association between amphetamine use and acute myocardial infarction (MI).

The study took a cross-sectional cohort of patients aged between 18 and 44 who were admitted to hospital over a three-year period in the US. It included a total of more than three million hospital episodes, of which 11,011 had acute MI as the principal discharge diagnosis.

Multiple logistical regression was used to estimate the odds of acute MI associated with a diagnosis of amphetamine misuse. The study controlled for other known risk factors, including cocaine and alcohol misuse, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, lipid disorders and obesity.

The study concluded that amphetamine misuse was significantly associated with acute MI (adjusted OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.26–2.06, P=0.0003), and that amphetamine misuse accounted for 0.2% of acute MIs during the study.

No previous population-based studies have investigated the link between MI and amphetamine misuse.

Amphetamine misuse among young people is increasing. In the absence of a prescription-based treatment model, management is focused on providing information and advice, together with encouraging change in behaviour. Patients who misuse amphetamines should be advised that they have a significantly increased risk of acute MI.

Westover AN, Nakonezny PA, Haley RW. Acute myocardial infarction in young adults who abuse amphetamines. Drug Alcohol Depend 2008;96:49-56


Dr Jez Thompson
Former GP, Clinical Director, Leeds Community Drug Services

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