Methamphetamine and cardiovascular pathology: a review of the evidence

Addiction. 2007 Aug;102(8):1204-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.01874.x. Epub 2007 Jun 12.


Aims: To examine the literature pertaining to the cardiovascular effects of methamphetamine and discuss the implications for methamphetamine users.

Methods: Relevant literature was identified through comprehensive MEDLINE and EMBASE searches.

Findings and conclusions: There is sufficient clinical and experimental evidence to suggest that methamphetamine can have adverse and potentially fatal effects on the cardiovascular system. The existing literature suggests that: (1) methamphetamine users are at elevated risk of cardiac pathology; (2) risk is not likely to be limited to the duration of their methamphetamine use, because of the chronic pathology associated with methamphetamine use; (3) the risk of cardiac pathology is greatest among chronic methamphetamine users; (4) pre-existing cardiac pathology, due to methamphetamine use or other factors, increases the risk of an acute cardiac event; and (5) methamphetamine use is likely to exacerbate the risk of cardiac pathology from other causes, and may therefore lead to premature mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Methamphetamine / administration & dosage
  • Methamphetamine / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / complications*


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methamphetamine