Cocaine users are up to four times more likely to suffer a dangerous coronary aneurysm than non-users, according to a US study.
Researchers found that the risk of developing the potentially fatal condition quadrupled in cocaine users in their mid-40s compared with others of the same age. Dr Timothy Henry, co-author of the report, said it was unclear exactly how much of the drug could trigger an aneurysm, but said once they began forming, there was no treatment.
"We found a significantly higher percentage of aneurysms in patients who had used cocaine than in a group of patients of similar age who did not," he said.
"The risk was definitely more common in people who used cocaine at least once a week." Aneurysms were found in 34 of the 112 people who reported using cocaine and only six of 91 non-users.
The findings may explain why users have a higher risk of heart attacks, scientists said.