- Explain to interested patients that stimulant drug abuse may increase the risk of stroke and stroke-related mortality.
- These findings are consistent with case reports and animal studies that have also suggested a link between stroke risk and stimulant drug abuse, though epidemiologic studies have not always confirmed the association.
DALLAS, April 3 -- Amphetamine and cocaine abuse appear to promote the risk of stroke among young adults, according to a large hospital database.
Amphetamine abuse quadrupled the risk of hemorrhagic stroke while cocaine more than doubled the risk of both hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke among those ages 18 to 44, said Robert W. Haley, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center here, and colleagues.
Amphetamine abuse, though not cocaine abuse, was also associated with increased mortality after hemorrhagic stroke, they wrote in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
Although the abuse of neither drug rivaled hypertension or other traditional stroke risk factors, amphetamines accounted for 2.3% of hemorrhagic strokes treated in Texas hospitals among patients in the 18 to 44 age group, the researchers calculated, and cocaine was associated with 4.1% of hemorrhagic and 2.3% of ischemic strokes.