Len Rome’s Local Health: Drug abusers run risk of heart problems as well


Drug abuse can have a real impact on your heart health

(WYTV) – Drug overdose survivors have something else to worry about: heart problems.

The more drug abuse, the greater the danger of an infection of your heart valves.

Dr. Serge Harb and the Cleveland Clinic have been leading this research and have found this heart trouble in young people who have been abusing drugs.

“Between 2002 and 2016 nationwide, hospitalizations for infection of the heart valves related to drug abuse have nearly doubled from 8% to 16%, and this has affected the entire nation with the Midwest being in the region most affected.”

Infection of the heart valves is called endocarditis. It’s when bacteria gets into the bloodstream from a dirty needle or contaminated opiates.

Treating heart valve infection involves antibiotics and sometimes surgery.

Patients with drug abuse-related heart valve infections typically stay longer in the hospital, and that means higher medical costs.

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