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Frequency of Methamphetamine Use as a Major Contributor Toward the Severity of Cardiomyopathy in Adults ≤50 Years

      Methamphetamine is one of the most commonly abused illegal drugs in the United States. Health care providers are commonly faced with medical illness caused by methamphetamine. This study investigates the impact of methamphetamine use on the severity of cardiomyopathy and heart failure in young adults. This retrospective study analyzed patients seen at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center from 2008 to 2012. Patients were between 18 and 50 years old. All patients had a discharge diagnosis of cardiomyopathy or heart failure. The severity of disease was quantified by left ventricular systolic dysfunction: heart failure with preserved ejection fraction to mildly reduced if ejection fraction was >40% and moderate to severely depressed if ejection fraction was ≤40%. Methamphetamine abuse was determined by a positive urine drug screen or per documented history. Of the 590 patients, 223 (37.8%) had a history of methamphetamine use. More than half the population was men (n = 389, 62.3%); 41% was Hispanic (n = 243), 25.8% was Caucasian (n = 152), and 27.8% was African-American (n = 164); 60.9% were in the age range of 41 to 50 years (n = 359). Patients with a history of methamphetamine use had increased odds (odds ratio = 1.80, 95% confidence interval 1.27 to 2.57) of having a moderately or severely reduced ejection fraction. Additionally, men were more likely (odds ratio 3.13, 95% confidence interval 2.14 to 4.56) to have worse left ventricular systolic dysfunction. In conclusion, methamphetamine use was associated with an increased severity of cardiomyopathy in young adults.
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