Regular cocaine use is associated with increased systolic blood pressure, aortic stiffness and left ventricular mass in young otherwise healthy individuals

Kozor, Rebecca, Grieve, Stuart M., Buchholz, Stefan, Kaye, Sharlene, Darke, Shane, Bhindi, Ravinay, and Figtree, Gemma A. (2014) Regular cocaine use is associated with increased systolic blood pressure, aortic stiffness and left ventricular mass in young otherwise healthy individuals. PLoS ONE, 9 (4). e89710. pp. 1-8.

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Background: The cardiovascular impact of cocaine use in otherwise healthy individuals who consider themselves 'social' users is not well established.

Methods/Results: Twenty regular cocaine users and 20 control subjects were recruited by word-of-mouth. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance was performed to assess cardiac and vascular structure and function. Cocaine users had higher systolic blood pressure compared to non-users (134±11 vs 126±11 mmHg, p = 0.036), a finding independent of age, body surface area, smoking and alcohol consumption. Cocaine use was associated with increased arterial stiffness - reflected by reduced aortic compliance (1.3±0.2 vs 1.7±0.5 cm2×10−2.mmHg−1, p = 0.004), decreased distensibility (3.8±0.9 vs 5.1±1.4 mmHg−1.10−3, p = 0.001), increased stiffness index (2.6±0.6 vs 2.1±0.6, p = 0.005), and higher pulse wave velocity (5.1±0.6 vs 4.4±0.6 m.s−1, p = 0.001). This change in aortic stiffness was independent of vessel wall thickness. Left ventricular mass was 18% higher in cocaine users (124±25 vs 105±16 g, p = 0.01), a finding that was independent of body surface area, and left atrial diameter was larger in the user group than controls (3.8±0.6 vs 3.5±0.3 cm, p = 0.04). The increased left ventricular mass, systolic blood pressure and vascular stiffness measures were all associated with duration and/or frequency of cocaine use. No late gadolinium enhancement or segmental wall motion abnormalities were seen in any of the subjects.

Conclusions: Compared with the non-user control cohort, cocaine users had increased aortic stiffness and systolic blood pressure, associated with greater left ventricular mass. These measures are all well known risk factors for premature cardiovascular events, highlighting the dangers of cocaine use, even in a 'social' setting, and have important public health implications.

Item ID: 33941
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Keywords: cardiovascular, cocaine, blood pressure
Additional Information:

© 2014 Kozor et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Heart Research Australia
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2014 23:57
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1102 Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology > 110201 Cardiology (incl Cardiovascular Diseases) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920103 Cardiovascular System and Diseases @ 100%
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