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Canadian Journal of Cardiology

Cardiovascular Disease and Drugs of Abuse and Abuse Potential

  • Gavin Y. Oudit
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author: Dr Gavin Y. Oudit, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2S2, Canada. Tel.: +1-780-407-8569; fax: +1-780-407-6452.
    Affiliations
    Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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  • Marco L.A. Sivilotti
    Affiliations
    Departments of Emergency Medicine, and of Biomedical & Molecular Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

    Ontario Poison Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Mark J. Eisenberg
    Affiliations
    Divisions of Cardiology and Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada

    Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Published:August 05, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2022.07.014
      In North America, and at a global level, there is a rising tide of cardiovascular disease linked to drugs of abuse and abuse potential.
      • Scott M.L.
      • Murnane K.S.
      • Orr A.W.
      Young at heart? Drugs of abuse cause early-onset cardiovascular disease in the young.
      As reviewed by Lavie et al. and Gagnon et al. in this special issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, these substances include alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, anabolic steroids, marijuana, and cigarette smoking.
      • Gagnon L.R.
      • Sadasivan C.
      • Perera K.
      • Oudit G.Y.
      Cardiac complications of common drugs of abuse: pharmacology, toxicology, and management.
      ,
      • Lavie C.
      • O’Keefe E.L.
      • Dhore A.
      Early-onset cardiovascular disease from cocaine, amphetamines, alcohol, and marijuana: casualties rise from drug abuse epidemic in North America.
      Management of cardiovascular disease should be coupled with appropriate social services and mental health interventions to provide sustained clinical benefit. With an ever-increasing number and variety of substances used recreationally, the risk of premature heart disease—often at a very young age— increases, leading to adverse health outcomes, both at the individual and the societal level, over the long term. The combination of youth, impact on family members, and mental health challenges constitute unique features when managing these vulnerable patients. Our responsibility as cardiovascular specialists should include recognizing these pervasive challenges and fostering treatment plans that support these patients effectively.
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