Drugs of Abuse and Heart Failure.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Substance use is common among those with heart failure (HF) and is associated with worse clinical outcomes. Alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and cocaine are commonly abused substances that can contribute to the development and worsening of HF. Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to dilated cardiomyopathy, whereas moderate intake may decrease incident HF. Tobacco increases the risk of HF through coronary artery disease and coronary artery disease-independent mechanisms. Continued smoking worsens outcomes for those with HF and cessation is associated with an improved risk of major adverse cardiac events. Cannabis has complex interactions on the cardiovascular system depending on the method of consumption, amount consumed, and content of cannabinoids. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol can increase sympathetic tone, cause vascular dysfunction, and may increase the risk of myocardial infarction. Cannabidiol is cardioprotective in preclinical studies and is a potential therapeutic target. Cocaine increases sympathetic tone and is a potent proarrhythmogenic agent. It increases the risk of myocardial infarction and can also lead to a dilated cardiomyopathy. The use of beta-blockers in those with HF and cocaine use is likely safe and effective. Future studies are needed to further elucidate the impact of these substances both on the development of HF and their effects on those who have HF.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Grubb, AF; Greene, SJ; Fudim, M; Dewald, T; Mentz, RJ

Published Date

  • November 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1260 - 1275

PubMed ID

  • 34133967

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-8414

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.cardfail.2021.05.023


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States