Doing Cocaine Drastically Increases Risk of Stroke

By Bryan Le 02/14/14

In just twenty-four hours after snorting, researchers found that cocaine users are seven times more likely to suffer from a stroke.


A new study shows that young adults who use cocaine are six to seven times more likely to suffer a stroke within a day of snorting it. According to researchers, the reason may be because cocaine thickens the blood, thereby preventing it from reaching the brain.

"With few exceptions, we believe every young stroke patient should be screened for drug abuse at the time of hospital admission," said Dr. Yu-Ching Cheng, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "Despite the strong stroke risk associated with acute cocaine use, in our study only about one-third of young stroke patients had toxicology screenings done during hospitalization. We think the percentage of cocaine use could be higher than we've reported."

The study also compared 1,101 people aged 15 to 49 who suffered strokes between 1991 and 2008, and compared them to 1,154 people of similar age that did not suffer from stroke in the same time period. They found that more than a quarter of both groups admitted to cocaine use. Cocaine, it seems, only affects risk of stroke in the immediate 24 hours following use.

The recent report went hand-in-glove with a 2012 study conducted by the University of Sydney, which found that cocaine causes higher blood pressure, stiffer arteries, and thicker heart muscle walls, all of which increase the risk of cardiac arrest.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter

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