- Amphetamine/methamphetamine had the greatest association with the development of acute heart failure (9 times greater risk), acute heart attack (7.5 times greater risk), cardiac arrest (7 times greater risk) and maternal mortality (3 times greater risk). These substances are known to increase heart rate and blood pressure and cause structural and electrical changes of the heart.
- Cocaine had the strongest association with stroke and was also found to be associated with arrhythmias, which are abnormal heart rhythms.
- Opioid use had the strongest association with infection of the heart valves—a disease known as endocarditis—which was not surprising given that these drugs are often injected into the bloodstream.
- Alcohol use was associated with the greatest risk for arrhythmias.
- Cannabis—the most commonly used substance—was not associated with maternal mortality. It was, however, associated with a higher risk (twofold greater risk) of heart attack.
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