Heart Damage caused by Cocaine is often undetectable

Heart Damage caused by Cocaine is often undetectable

The research study carried out by Dr. Varun Kumar, who is an internist at the Mount Sinai Hospital, Chicago, pointed out that hospitals witness many emergency room admission of patients because they feel chest pain when they consume cocaine. What is the problem in detection?

He points out that the heart damage caused by cocaine consumption often lies undetected because the doctors are not able to get the reason behind the chest pain when they carry out tests using the angiogram, which detects the flow of blood in the main arteries which carry blood to our hearts.

The research study

So, Dr. Varun Kumar conducted a study with the help of his team who analysed the functioning of the blood arteries carrying blood to the heart of those people who had complained of having a chest pain over a few months. Dr. Varun Kumar and his team conducted their study over 412 people out of which, 202 people confessed that they had consumed cocaine over the last six months while the remaining 210 people said they had never used cocaine.

The research findings

The team discovered that those who were cocaine users had abnormality in their functioning of the blood arteries which carried blood to the heart. This condition makes them a major prey of heart related illness and in certain cases, even death. The research findings were presented before the American Heart Association at a meeting held on 18th November, 2014.

The research team led by Dr. Varun Kumar said that the over dilated small blood vessels were a major reason behind the high volume and faster flow of the blood to the heart. This was asignificant point of difference between the drugusers and the non-users. Even cigarette smoking habits were not sufficient to provide any major clue for the reason behind chest pain in patients.

The research findings mention that the use of cocaines did not cause any significant damage to the arteries but only to the small vessels of the heart. Even this damage is capable of causing heart illness and death in certain cases. This was the major reason behind the chest pain and problem in breathing in cocaine consumers.

Previous findings

Previous research findings had also suggested that using cocaine can cause heart attacks and death of even the young and healthy adults. The drug cocaine causes a significant damage to aorta, the main artery, which in turn leads to stiffness in the small vessels and causing problems to the heart and body.

What lies ahead

Dr. Varun Kumar said that though theresearch findings a big step forward, there needs to be research and study as to how the medical community can treat cocaine users who are otherwise quite fit and healthy. He added that such patients may benefit from the use of therapies involving aspirin and drugs which lower cholesterol levels, as these therapies prevent heart diseases.

Doctor Vista Healthcare Resource

Community Posts