Heart disease, methamphetamine and AIDS

Qianli Yu, Douglas F. Larson, Ronald R. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Methamphetamine (MA) not only affects the nervous system but also has cardiac toxicity and immunosuppressive properties. This manuscript will provide support that there is a relationship between MA use and heart disease as well as immune dysfunction. The cardiovascular manifestations of acute MA use include tachycardia, atrioventricular arrhythmias, myocardial ischemia, myocardial ischemia and hypertension, resulting in cardiac lesions. Chronic use of MA causes cardiomyopathy including cellular infiltration, myocardial hypertrophy, myocardium rupture and fibrosis. The increased catecholamine levels are responsible for the cardiac lesions induced by MA. The additional problem with MA use is its potential to disrupt the immune system function leading to suppression of mitogen-stimulated lymphocyte, a reduction in circulating lymphocyte numbers and alternation T-lymphocyte cytokine secretion as well as B cell proinflammatory cytokine secretion. Concomitant MA use and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection not only enhances immunosuppression associated with HIV but also increases the heart disease occurrence with a coincidentally complication of AIDS or AIDS medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-140
Number of pages12
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 30 2003


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Heart disease
  • Methamphetamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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