Snorting Cocaine Increases Your Risk Of Stroke Sevenfold In The Next 24 Hours, New Study Attests
In case you didn't already know, spoiler alert: Cocaine is bad for you. Really, really bad. In fact, snorting cocaine ups your risk of stroke by six to seven times in the 24 hours after you use the drug. According to a new study presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference, young adults who use cocaine are at greater risk of suffering an ischemic stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when there isn't enough blood flowing to the brain. Researchers believe that cocaine thickens vessels and causes blood clots.
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine studied more than 1,000 people between the ages of 15 to 49 who'd had strokes between 1991 and 2008. They also had a control group of 1,154 people of similar ages, plucked from the general population. The study found that cocaine users had a much higher risk of stroke than the general public, even taking into account other high-risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking.
A quarter of the participants in both groups said they had a history of using cocaine. And men were more than twice as likely as women to have admitted to using the drug, according to the research.
That's not all: The percentage of cocaine use in the study could be even higher, noted study author Dr. Cheng in a press release. After all, few hospitals administer toxicology tests to young people who are rushed to emergency rooms after a stroke, added Dr. Cheng.
With few exceptions, we believe every young stroke patient should be screened for drug abuse at the time of hospital admission. Despite the strong stroke risk associated with acute cocaine use, in our study only about one-third of young stroke patients had toxicology screenings done during hospitalization.
A study by Australian scientists in 2012 found that cocaine, labeled "the perfect heart attack drug," causes higher blood pressure, thickening of heart muscle walls, and artery backup — a perfect storm for cardiac arrest.
So, Hannah from Girls can attest, this is your brain on cocaine.
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