Two heart drugs linked to higher heart attack risk
Those precautions include cooling strategies such as using air conditioning or going to a public cooling center.
External environmental factors such as air pollution and cold weather can trigger heart attacks. There is growing evidence that hot weather can do the same. But epidemiologists are still working to identify which groups of people are most vulnerable to these extreme environmental impacts.
Using a registry, the authors looked at 2,494 cases in which individuals experienced a nonfatal heart attack in Augsburg, Germany during the hot weather months (May to September) from 2001 until 2014.
In previous research, they showed that exposure to heat or cold makes heart attacks more likely, and they calculated that the rate of heat-related heart attacks would increase as the planet warms. 2 to 3 degrees Celsius.
The current study builds on that by examining patients’ drug use before they had a heart attack.
They analyzed the data in a way that was self-controlled, by comparing heat exposure on the day of the heart attack with similar days of the week in the same month. That is, if a person has a heart attack on the third Thursday in June, the authors compare their temperature exposure that day with their temperature exposure on other days. Another “control” Thursday in June.
Two drugs linked to heart attack risk
It turned out that people taking beta-blockers or antiplatelet drugs were more likely to have heart attacks on the hottest days than on control days. Antiplatelet use increased the risk by 63% and beta blockers by 65%. Those taking both drugs had a 75% higher risk. People who didn’t use those drugs were less likely to have a heart attack on hot days.
Research does not prove that these drugs cause heart attacks, nor do they make people more susceptible to heart attacks. While they may have increased the risk of heart attack due to hot weather, it is also possible that the patient’s underlying heart disease explains both the prescription and the higher likelihood of a heart attack in hot weather.
One clue, however, is that drugs may be the cause.
When researchers compared younger patients (25 to 59 years old) with older people (60 to 74 years old), they found that younger people were the healthier group with higher rates of heart disease. lower coronary arteries. However, younger patients taking beta-blockers and antiplatelet drugs were more likely to have heat-related heart attacks than older patients, although older adults were more likely to have heart disease.
Another clue that the two drugs may make people more vulnerable: For the most part, other heart drugs have not shown a link with heat-related heart attacks. (One exception is statins. When taken by young people, statins are associated with a threefold increased risk of heart attack on hot days.)
“We hypothesized that certain drugs might make it difficult to regulate body temperature,” says Chen. He plans to try to untangle these relationships in future studies.
The results suggest that as climate change progresses, heart attacks may become a greater danger for some people with cardiovascular disease.