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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

New cocaine heart risk

Tuesday June 21st, 2011

People who use cocaine may be unwittingly building up major heart problems, experts warned last night.

Doctors found major structural damage in the hearts of cocaine addicts.

Just 30 users of the drug were studied - but problems were found in 83 per cent of cases, according to a report in the journal Heart.

The damage included scarring and swelling of tissue.

Maureen Talbot, of the British Heart Foundation, said the findings added to other evidence about the drug's deadly consequences.

She said: “It is well known that cocaine is a potent drug that can have devastating consequences including heart attacks and sudden death in people with or without established heart disease.

"This small study shows that cocaine can silently cause irreversible heart muscle damage, which may take some time to become apparent. This damage can destroy your quality of life and even cause premature death.

“Cocaine use is linked to smoking and drinking too much alcohol, which can also damage the heart muscle. So this study adds weight to the substantial amount of existing evidence that cocaine kills.”

Silent myocardial damage in cocaine addicts. Giovanni Donato Aquaro et al. Heart June 20 2011. doi:10.1136/hrt.2011.226977

Tags: Drug and Alcohol Abuse | Heart Health | North America | UK News

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