Intravenous Heroin Abuse and Acute Myocardial Infarction: Forensic Study

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Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this study was to investigate chronic intravenous heroin abuse and its potential to induce acute myocardial infarction (AMI). It also aims to examine the causative factors and the incidence of heroin-induced myocardial infarction.

Material and Methods

The hearts of 113 intravenous heroin abusers were studied for a duration exceeding 3 years. The parameters studied included sex, age, time of intravenous heroin abuse, medical history, and body and heart weight. Macroscopic histological studies of the heart were also performed.

Results

The histological examination revealed only 1 case of AMI. The victim was an intravenous heroin abuser for the last 7 years. The age and the medical history of the victim do not act as dissuading factors for the potential of an AMI.

Conclusions

The incidence of heroin-induced myocardial infarction is rare, and the actual mechanism remains unclear. The increased heart weight in relation to the increased thickness of the heart walls may be an aggravating factor, and thus, it is a fact that should be investigated.

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