Khat Ups Adverse Outcomes in Acute Coronary Syndrome

Khat chewers with acute coronary syndrome have increased risk of death, cardiovascular events

MONDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute coronary syndrome, chewing khat is associated with an increased risk of recurrent ischemia, heart failure, stroke, and death, according to a study published in the Dec. 13 issue of Circulation.

Waleed M. Ali, M.D., from the Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar, and colleagues assessed the clinical characteristics and outcomes of khat chewers presenting with acute coronary syndrome. Data were collected from 7,399 consecutive patients with acute coronary syndrome, who were enrolled in the Second Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events study from October 2008 through June 2009.

The investigators found that 19 percent of the patients were khat chewers, and they were older, more often male, and less likely to have cardiovascular risk factors. A history of coronary artery disease was less likely in khat chewers than non-chewers. Khat chewers were more likely than non-chewers to present late and with ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction, and to have increased heart rate and advanced Killip class on admission. Compared to non-khat chewers, khat chewers had an elevated risk of death, recurrent myocardial ischemia, cardiogenic shock, ventricular arrhythmia, and stroke. Chewing khat was an independent risk factor for recurrent ischemia, heart failure, stroke, and death, after adjusting for baseline variability.

"Khat-associated acute coronary syndrome is associated with worse outcomes. This observational report underscores the importance of improving education concerning the cardiovascular risks of khat chewing," the authors write.

The study was partially funded by Sanofi-Aventis.

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