Cardiovascular events rising as more young adults use cocaine

ACUTE coronary syndrome in young people is becoming more common, in line with a worldwide boom in cocaine use, experts warn.

Dr Gordian Fulde, head of emergency services at St Vincent’s Hospital in inner-city Sydney, said he was seeing cardiovascular events in young patients “many times a week”.

“Most young people we get with this, in the cocaine-taking genre, their hearts aren’t too sick so they usually come to us with chest pain, and when we do blood tests for troponin… it is raised, so they have had heart muscle damage,” he said.

“It’s not just the heart – we’ve seen people with strokes even in late teenage and early 20s… people who have had small strokes because of taking cocaine.”

He was commenting on a study showing 21.7% of patients aged under 50 who presented with acute coronary syndrome at a Barcelona hospital in 2008 reported using cocaine, compared