Health Watch - Substance Abuse: Amphetamines and Heart Attack

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about health issues related to substance abuse. We know that amphetamine abuse is dangerous, but it could have a deadly impact.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that young adults who abuse amphetamines have a higher rate of heart attacks. Dr. Arthur Westover, a UT Southwestern psychiatrist, says this is a concern because heart attacks in young people are rare and tend to be deadly. Not only is this a warning to drug abusers, but it’s also something medical personnel need to be aware of. Some of the treatments used on patients having heart attacks could make matters worse for amphetamine abusers.

Emergency medical personnel should consider amphetamine abuse in young heart attack patients. Doctors believe that amphetamines raise the risk for heart attack by increasing heart rate and blood pressure and by causing inflammation and spasms in arteries, blocking blood supply from the heart.    


November 2010

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