Monday, June 17, 2024

Study Led by LSU Health Shreveport Researchers Finds Significant Increase and Demographic Disparities in Meth Users Hospitalized for Cardiomyopathy

by BPT Staff
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 A new study led by researchers at LSU Health Shreveport recently published in JACC: Advances found there has been a drastic increase in cardiomyopathy-associated hospital admissions among methamphetamine users in the United States, as well as significant social and geographic disparities associated with these cases.

Methamphetamine is widely considered a public health concern with use of the drug and meth-related overdose deaths growing at an alarming rate over the last few years. This increased prevalence has presented additional health concerns for methamphetamine users, including a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like cardiomyopathy, a disease that affects the muscles of the heart. While methamphetamine is a known emerging drug threat, the disparity in cardiomyopathy-associated hospital admissions among methamphetamine users was unknown, which led the LSUHS researchers to conduct this study.

The team analyzed data from 2008 to 2020 from the National Inpatient Sample database, a comprehensive deidentified database developed by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), and determined that cardiomyopathy-associated hospital admissions among methamphetamine users increased by 231% over the 13-year study period. The most significant increases were among men, people of Hispanic or non-Hispanic Asian race, and people ages 41 to 64. Geographically, hospital admissions for cardiomyopathy associated with meth use were predominantly concentrated in the western region of the U.S.

Nobel Bhuiyan, PhD, Director of Biostatistics and Computational Biology and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at LSU Health Shreveport, was the senior and corresponding author of the study, which is the largest hospital admission data study done about methamphetamine-related cardiomyopathy and demographic trends over time. Dr. Bhuiyan and his colleagues detailed their findings in an article published in JACC: Advances, a journal of the American College of Cardiology, titled “Cardiomyopathy-Associated Hospital Admissions Among Methamphetamine Users: Geographical and Social Disparities”.

Drs. Shannon Walker, Nicky Mehtani, and Nisha Parikh at the University of California, San Francisco authored an Editorial Comment, “Facing a Tsunami: Methamphetamine Heart Failure Demands Novel Approaches,” that was published along with the article and emphasizes the importance of this study’s findings and what it reveals about next steps that should be considered in addressing methamphetamine-associated cardiomyopathy. They noted in their comments, “This work and others highlight that this is a heterogeneous problem affecting various genders, populations, and locations differently. Consequently, strategies for prevention and treatment need to be tailored; attention and resources should be directed toward communities with increased need.”

Nicholas Goeders, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology & Neuroscience, and Executive Director of the Louisiana Addiction Research Center at LSU Health Shreveport, was also a co-author of the study and noted that while opioid-related overdose deaths have received the most attention in the media, a more insidious and silent killer has been on the rise.

“People have been admitted to hospitals around the country, presenting with cardiovascular disease 20-30 years earlier than the national average of about 65 years old or older. The common denominator in the majority of these cases is methamphetamine. While our report highlighted the relationship between early-onset cardiovascular disease and methamphetamine use, more research is needed to understand the mechanisms underlying this relationship, which could lead to improved treatment. More importantly, however, is a better understanding of methamphetamine use disorder and treatments that will decrease the recidivism rate for relapse to methamphetamine use,” said Dr. Goeders.

In addition to Dr. Bhuiyan and Dr. Goeders, study co-authors include Jimmy Brown, MD, Emergency Medicine Resident; Maamannan Venkataraj, MD, Internal Medicine Resident; Md. Shenuarin Bhuiyan, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology and Translational Pathobiology; Abu Saleh Mosa Faisal, MSc, Biostatistician; Kenneth Densmore MSc, Director of Data Visualization; Nicholas Goeders PhD, Professor and Chairman of Pharmacology, Toxicology & Neuroscience and Executive Director of the Louisiana Addiction Research Center; Steven Bailey, MD, Gratis Professor of Medicine; Steven A. Conrad, MD, PhD, Professor, Ike Muslow Endowed Chair, and Division Chief of Clinical Informatics; John Vanchiere, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research; Wayne Orr, PhD, Professor and Director of the Research Division for Pathology and Translational Pathobiology, Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences Chris Kevil, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research and Director of COBRE Center for Redox Biology and Cardiovascular Disease.

For more information about this study’s findings and the methods used, the full article published in JACC: Advances can be viewed at

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