La cocaina determina un alto rischio di infarto

La cocaina è molto più pericolosa del sesso in chi ha un cuore debole.

E’ quanto emerge da uno studio pubblicato su Circulation, condotto dall’università di Harvard (USA) e di Sydney (Australia).

I ricercatori hanno concluso che sniffare cocaina determina un rischio di infarto 20 volte superiore rispetto a chi pratica sesso.

Questo studio, del quale segue la versione in inglese, spero stimoli una seria riflessione sull’impatto negativo esercitato dalla cocaina sul cuore.

“CONTRARY to movie mythology, having sex does not increase your chances of a heart attack, an Australian study has found.
But snorting cocaine lifts the risk of seizure more than 20-fold.

The review by University of Sydney and Harvard academics is the first to analyse all known triggers for heart attacks, including sexual activity, cocaine use, pollution, heavy meals, and stressful major events like terrorist attacks.

Co-researcher Dr Geoffrey Tofler said traditional long-term approaches to heart attack prevention, like diet and exercise regimes and medication, are important but they often ignore other brief triggers.

These external pressures - such as sudden severe stress or physical exertion - can be a factor in up to 40 per cent of heart attacks, said Prof Tofler, who is associated with both universities.

"We know, for example, that the incidence of heart attacks rises sharply in the days after people are exposed to major events such as an earthquake or a September 11," he said.

"That knowledge can be used to ensure aid teams have the equipment and knowledge to treat heart attacks and not just traumatic injuries."

Having sex causes very little increased risk of heart attack while, in contrast, cocaine use boosts the likelihood 20 times.

"If individuals know what the relative risks are they will be better able to manage their own health accordingly," the academic said.

Prof Tofler and Harvard colleague Dr James Muller have used their results to develop a new approach to prevention of triggered heart attack and stroke.

Called Triggered Acute Risk Prevention (TARP), it looks at commonsense measures to help avoid attack, recommending, for instance, that vulnerable types get someone else to mow the lawn or limit time outdoors on hot, polluted days.

The men likened the program, detailed in the US cardiology journal Circulation, to "a protective tarpaulin that keeps off the rain".

But they warn people to keep concerns about triggering a heart attack in perspective.

"It would be a concern if focus on very small risks associated with the stress of daily living led to excessive caution," Prof Tofler.

They will next investigate other potential stresses, including bereavement, infection and heavy physical exertion.

"Further research is also needed to address questions such as whether, during a highly stressful event such as the last minutes of a close football final, people at risk would benefit from added medicine to prevent blood clots, fast heart rate and raised blood pressure that could increase the risk of a heart attack”

Tamara McLean

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