Tuesday September 17, 2019

Injecting Drugs May up Bacterial Heart Infections: Study

increase in the risk of infective endocarditis is consistent with the findings of other studies, but the observed timing of the increase was novel, the team said

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Heart rate
Heart rate, Flickr

People who inject drugs may have a significant increase in the risk of infective endocarditis, a serious infection of the lining of the heart, possibly linked to increasing use of the opioid hydromorphone, a new study suggests.

“We observed a substantial increase in the risk of infective endocarditis among people who inject drugs, which is associated with hydromorphone’s increasing share of the prescription opioid market,” said researchers, including first author Matthew Weir from Western University, London, Ontario.

For the study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers looked at Ontario data on drug users from linked health administrative databases between April 2006 and September 2015.

There were 60,529 admissions to hospital of people who inject drugs and, of these, 733 had infective endocarditis linked to injecting drugs.

Although admission rates for people who inject drugs were stable over the study period, the risk of infective endocarditis increased from 13.4 admissions every three months (fourth quarter 2011) to 35.1 admissions every three months in the period afterwards.

Heart Disease
Even low exposure to arsenic, lead may up heart disease risk. Pixabay

Whereas the percentage of opioid prescriptions attributed to controlled-release oxycodone declined rapidly when it was removed from the market by its manufacturer in the fourth quarter of 2011, hydromorphone prescriptions increased from 16 per cent at the start of the study to 53 per cent by the end, the researcher said.

The team expected that an increase in risk of infective endocarditis would occur when controlled-release oxycodone was removed from the Canadian market; however, they found that the rise began before removal.

“Although our observations do not support our hypothesis that the loss of controlled-release oxycodone increased the use of hydromorphone, they do support our suspicion that hydromorphone may be playing a role in the increasing risk of infective endocarditis,” said co-author Michael Silverman from the varsity.

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The increase in the risk of infective endocarditis is consistent with the findings of other studies, but the observed timing of the increase was novel, the team said.

“Both the rise in this severe complication of injection drug use and the possible association with hydromorphone require further study,” the authors noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Donepezil, A Drug Used For Alzheimer Disease, Doubles Hospitalisation Risk

Researchers have found that a drug, donepezil commonly used to manage symptoms of Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia, is associated with a two-fold higher risk of hospitalisation

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Drugs, Alzheimer, Dementia, Hospitalisation, Risk
Dementia is a growing problem, with almost 10 million newly diagnosed cases every year around the world. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a drug, donepezil commonly used to manage symptoms of Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia, is associated with a two-fold higher risk of hospitalisation.

According to the study published in the journal Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), using donepezil increases the risk of hospital admission for rhabdomyolysis, a painful condition of muscle breakdown, compared with several other cholinesterase inhibitors.

Dementia is a growing problem, with almost 10 million newly diagnosed cases every year around the world, said the researchers.

Drugs, Alzheimer, Dementia, Hospitalisation, Risk
Dr. William Burke goes over a PET brain scan, Aug. 14, 2018 at Banner Alzheimers Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. VOA

“The findings of this population-based cohort study support regulatory agency warnings about the risk of donepezil-induced rhabdomyolysis,” said study researcher Jamie Fleet from McMaster University in Canada.

The study, led by researchers at Western University, looked at ICES data from 2002 to 2017 on 2,20,353 patients aged 66 years or older in Ontario, Canada, with a new prescription for donepezil, rivastigmine or galantamine, three cholinesterase inhibitors used to manage dementia and Alzheimer disease.

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The researchers found that donepezil was associated with a two-fold higher risk of hospitalisation for rhabdomyolysis, a serious condition that can result in kidney disease.

According to the findings, the relative risk was small but statistically significant. (IANS)