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article imageCocaine raises stroke risk in young people

By Tim Sandle     Feb 19, 2014 in Health
To add to the harm that cocaine can cause, a new study reports that use of the drug among young people can considerably increase their risk of suffering from a stroke.
A study of stroke patients has found that the stroke risk is six times greater within 24 hours of using cocaine than at other times; furthermore, young people are particularly susceptible. The Daily Mail notes that cocaine greatly increases ischemic stroke risk in young adults within a day of use (ischemic strokes occur when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain becomes blocked, preventing a continuous supply of blood to the brain).
To reach this conclusion, researchers compared about 1,000 15- to 49-year olds who had ischemic strokes between 1991 and 2008 to about 1,000 people of similar ages in the general population.
The concern of campaigners is that a link between a so-called "lifestyle" drug and cocaine will go unheeded. The long-term risk factors underlying stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking. However, these chronic problems typically do not concern young people, who see stroke as a problem confined to an older demographic.
Discussing the findings with the Business Standard, Yu-Ching Cheng, research scientist at Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine said: "Cocaine use is one of the risk factors we investigated and we were surprised at how strong an association there is between cocaine and stroke risk in young adults. With few exceptions, we believe every young stroke patient should be screened for drug abuse at the time of hospital admission."
The news relating to stroke risk came from a paper delivered to the recent meeting of the American Stroke Association.
More about Cocaine, Young people, Drug use, Stroke
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