Clinical research study| Volume 120, ISSUE 2, P165-171, February 2007

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The Association of Methamphetamine Use and Cardiomyopathy in Young Patients



      Methamphetamine is the most widespread illegally used stimulant in the United States. Previously published case reports and series suggest a potential association between methamphetamine exposure and cardiomyopathy. The objective of this study is to demonstrate an association between methamphetamine use and cardiomyopathy.

      Subject and Methods

      Case-control study based on chart review of discharges from a tertiary care medical center from January 2001 to June 2004. Patients were ≤45 years old. Cases included patients with a discharge diagnosis of either cardiomyopathy or heart failure. Controls included hospitalized patients who had an echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular function with ejection fraction ≥55% and no wall motion abnormalities.


      One hundred and seven cases and 114 controls were identified. Both groups had similar gender distribution, length of hospital stay, rates of health insurance, prevalence of coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, and marijuana and cocaine use. Cases were older than controls (mean age: 38 vs 35 years; P=.008), had higher body mass index (BMI) (mean BMI: 37 vs 30 kg/m2; P<.001), and higher prevalence of renal failure (13% vs 4.4%; P=.03). Methamphetamine users had a 3.7-fold increased odds ratio [95% confidence interval, 1.8-7.8] for cardiomyopathy, adjusting for age, body mass index, and renal failure.


      Methamphetamine use was associated with cardiomyopathy in young patients.


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