Amphetamine abuse by young adults increases the risk of aortic tearing according to a study by UT Southwestern Medical Center.
The report, published in the American Heart Journal, August 2010 issue, involved researchers who plowed through medical records of some 31 million people aged 18 to 49 who were hospitalized between 1995 and 2007 and found people who abuse amphetamines had a “…three-fold increase in the odds of aortic dissection,” reported newswise.com.
The aorta is the largest artery in the body branching off from the heart. Dissection happens when the inner layer of the aorta wall develops a tear. This allows the blood to separate, or dissect. The blood can do further damage to the wall by rupturing it, causing death.
Amphetamines stimulate the body, and are used by young people for legitimate medical reasons, like Adderall to treat Attention Deficit Hyeractivity Disorder, (ADHD). Amphetamines are also widely abused as recreational drugs, and used as performance enhancers as well.
“Researchers note that the abuse of amphetamines – including methamphetamine, or “meth” – significantly increased among hospitalized young adults from 1995 to 2007,” according to newswise.com.
Speed, or amphetamines, act on the body like cocaine does. These drugs increase heart rate, blood pressure, and known to cause psychosis that is a mirror of schizophrenia, as well as heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death.
Researchers, in another study, also poured over medical records of 49 million adults 50 years, and older at the same time the other study was progressing. They found the “… frequency of aortic dissection is increasing in young adults but not older adults,” Dr. Westover said. “It is not yet clear why,” reported newswise.com.
In the study, researchers noted that in areas where amphetamine abuse is greater, such as Hawaii, California, Oregon, and Washington state, aortic dissection was three times greater than the figure nationally.
Amphetamines, and methamphetamines have usually been associated with rapid deterioration of both body, and mind for those abusing, or addicted to these types of drugs. This study is yet more evidence linking additional risks to the abuse of these drugs, especially for younger people.
If ever you gazed upon a before, and after photo of an amphetamine, or methamphetamine abuser/addict, you’d swear they aged 50 years in a matter of a few months.
In the flow…
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