Thesis Title

Cardiovascular Effects of Methamphetamine Addiction

Date of Graduation

Spring 2007


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Susan Hinck


methamphetamine, addiction, cardiovascular, cardiomyopathy, acute coronary syndrome, intensive care, adult

Subject Categories



The purpose of this study was to identify the type and frequency of cardiac conditions in methamphetamine addicts admitted to hospital adult intensive care units (ICUs). Methamphetamine use is causing an epidemic of health problems among users. The design of this study was retrospective, quantitative descriptive case series utilizing chart reviews for data collection. A convenience sample of 22 medical records was obtained from laboratory results of positive methamphetamine urine toxicology, and meeting additional inclusion criteria of patients over age 18 with a cardiac condition diagnosis admitted to one of the adults ICUs during a 25-month period from February, 2005, though February, 2007. Of the 22 in the sample, 14 (64%) were male and eight (36%) were female. All were Caucasian. The mean age was 45.2 years (range 21 to 67, SD 12.8, median 47.5). Acute coronary syndrome accounted for 15 (68%) of cardiac conditions in the sample, followed by cardiomyopathy with seven (32%), congestive heart failure with six (27%), tachyarrhythmias with five (23%), pulmonary edema with three (14%), and other cardiac conditions with seven (32%). Four (18%) of the 22 subjects suffered cardiac arrest with resuscitation efforts, with two of those resulting in successful resuscitation. There were four (18%) deaths among the sample during hospitalization. All methamphetamine addicts should be monitored for acute coronary syndrome when admitted to adult ICUs.


© Melissa D. Dixon