Cocaine is the third most common substance of abuse after cannabis and alcohol. The use of cocaine as an illicit substance is implicated as a causative factor for multisystem derangements ranging from an acute crisis to chronic complications. Vasospasm is the proposed mechanism behind adverse events resulting from cocaine abuse, acute ischemic strokes (AIS) being one of the few. Our study looked into in-hospital outcomes owing to cocaine use in the large population based study of AIS patients. Using the national inpatient sample (NIS) database from 2014 of United States of America, we identified AIS patients with cocaine use using International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes. We compared demographics, mortality, in-hospital outcomes and comorbidities between AIS with cocaine use cohort versus AIS without cocaine use cohort. Acute ischemic strokes (AIS) with cocaine group consisted of higher number of older patients (> 85 years) (25.6% versus 18.7%, p < 0.001) and females (52.4% versus 51.0%, p < 0.001). Cocaine cohort had higher incidence of valvular disorders (13.2% versus 9.7%, p < 0.001), venous thromboembolism (3.5% versus 2.6%, p < 0.03), vasculitis (0.9% versus 0.4%, p < 0.003), sudden cardiac death (0.4% versus 0.2%, p < 0.02), epilepsy (10.1% versus 7.4%, p < 0.001) and major depression (13.2% versus 10.7%, p < 0.007). The multivariate logistic regression analysis found cocaine use to be the major risk factor for hospitalization in AIS cohort. In-hospital mortality (odds ratio (OR)= 1.4, 95% confidence interval= 1.1-1.9, p < 0.003) and the disposition to short-term hospitals (odds ratio (OR)= 2.6, 95% confidence interval = 2.1-3.3, p < 0.001) were also higher in cocaine cohort. Venous thromboembolism was observed to be linked with cocaine use (OR= 1.5, 95% confidence interval= 1.0-2.1, p < 0.01) but less severely than vasculitis (OR= 3.0, 95% confidence interval= 1.6-5.8, p < 0.001). Further prospective research is warranted in this direction to improve the outcomes for AIS and lessen the financial burden on the healthcare system of the United States.

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Published in Cureus, v. 9, issue 8, e1536.

© Copyright 2017 Desai et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 3.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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