Cocaine use increases risk of stroke by 700 percent

By Amanda Stewart,

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In the 24 hours after a person uses cocaine, the risk of stroke is increased by 700 percent.

HealthDay reported the the risk of stroke that is associated with cocaine use is higher than that of people with diabetes, high blood pressure and even for those that smoke. "Cocaine is not only addictive, but it can also lead to disability or death from stroke," said lead researcher Yu-Ching Cheng.

Over 13,000 Americans ages 15 to 44 suffer from strokes, 300 of these strokes are associated with the use of cocaine. Cheng suggests that every young stroke patient should be tested for drug abuse when admitted into the hospital. This may help the young people battle a possible addiction while undergoing therapy after the stroke (as well as pinpointing the reason for the stroke).

Why does cocaine increase the risk of stroke? Cocaine is often understood to thicken the blood, which increases the risk of clotting, says The Daily Mail.

“We think the percentage of cocaine use could be higher than we've reported,” said Cheng. Only one-third of stroke patients undergo a drug screening when they are admitted.

In 2012, Australia named cocaine the perfect heart attack drug because users are at higher risk of heart attack and, now, stroke.

Cocaine has come up over and over again as a leading cause of stroke, and often heart attack. If hospitals were to order a drug screening for stroke patients, they could “cure” the addiction and potentially prevent future health problems.

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