Apr 11, 2019
Nearly 20% of fatal strokes occurring in younger persons are due to illicit drug use and abuse. This is the conclusion of a new study from Australia’s National Drug and Alcohol Research Center.
The investigators studied 279 persons aged 15 to 44 years who died of stroke. The most frequent drug implicated was methamphetamine. None of the stroke victims were taking the typical psychostimulants prescribed for attention deficits.
Notable was the fact that the levels of circulating methamphetamine in the stroke victims were less than half of that found in those dying from methamphetamine overdoses indicating that even lower doses of methamphetamine may be deadly by triggering a hyper-metabolic state and intracranial bleeding.
Psychostimulant drug use, both legal and illicit, is on the rise, and about 76 million people are now using them. Given this fact, it is not surprising that the only group in which the incidence of stroke is markedly increasing is the 25 to 44 year old cohort with a 44% rise. In contrast, older persons 65 to 84 years of age have a 29% lower incidence of stroke.
These facts should remind you, particularly those of us in the younger and middle-aged groups, that use of psychostimulants and disregard of tendencies toward high blood pressure can place you on the road to a deadly or debilitating stroke.
Shane Darke, Johan Duflou, Sharlene Kaye, Michael Farrell, Julia Lappin. Psychostimulant Use and Fatal Stroke in Young Adults. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2019; DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.14056
Rising Stroke Incidence in Young Adults: More Epidemiological Evidence, More Questions to Be Answered. https://doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.116.003661
#Psychostimulants #stroke #hypertension #methamphetamine