FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of methamphetamine-associated heart failure (MethHF) is increasing and is associated with significant morbidity, according to a review published online Dec. 1 in Heart.

Veena Manja, Ph.D., from the VA Center for Innovation to Implementation in Menlo Park, California, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of observational studies on MethHF. Data from 21 studies were included in the final analysis.

Due to heterogeneity in study design, population, comparator, and outcome assessment, results could not be combined. Due to the presence of confounders, selection bias, and poor matching, the risk for bias was moderate; overall certainty in the evidence was very low. The researchers found that the prevalence of MethHF is increasing and affects diverse racial/ethnic/sociodemographic groups, with a predominance in males; up to 44 percent of patients have preserved left-ventricular ejection fraction. Compared with non-methamphetamine-related heart failure, MethHF was associated with significant morbidity, including worse heart failure symptoms. Improved outcomes were seen in association with female sex, methamphetamine abstinence, and guideline-directed heart failure therapy. The extent of recovery after abstinence was predicted by chamber dimensions on echocardiography and fibrosis on biopsy.

“The increasing prevalence of MethHF across racial/ethnic and sociodemographic groups in the setting of rising methamphetamine use worldwide calls for increased awareness and availability of treatment for methamphetamine addiction,” the authors write. “General health care’s successful experience with management of the opioid epidemic needs to be translated and expanded to treatment of methamphetamine use disorder.”

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