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Case Report: Khat Chewing and Acute Myocardial Infarction in Two Young Men without Underlying Risk Factors

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  • 1 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Jigjiga University, Jigjiga, Ethiopia;
  • | 2 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harer, Ethiopia;
  • | 3 Department of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia;
  • | 4 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia;
  • | 5 Department of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Mizan-Tepi University, Mizan Teferi, Ethiopia 1145

ABSTRACT.

Khat (Catha edulis) chewing is linked to several social, psychological, and health-related problems. Studies show that khat is associated with gastrointestinal and nervous system diseases. However, little is known about khat’s effect on the cardiovascular system. This case report describes acute myocardial infarction (AMI) among two young adults who chew khat frequently, but who do not have underlying cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Case 1 is a 29-year-old apparently healthy man who presented with severe, squeezing, left-side chest pain after consumption of khat. Most of the laboratory results were within the normal range except for his serum troponin level, which was 400 times more than the normal limit. The patient was diagnosed with Killip class IV, ST-segment elevation, anteroseptal AMI. Case 2 is a 25-year-old man who is a frequent khat chewer. He presented with sudden-onset, severe, squeezing, retrosternal chest pain after khat chewing and vigorous activity. The patient was diagnosed with (Killip class III) acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction with cardiogenic pulmonary edema. These case reports describe two young adult male patients who were confirmed of having AMI with no known risk factors. Both cases had a similar history of frequent khat chewing and the onset of AMI after it, implying that khat could be an important CVD risk factor among young adults. Hence, it is essential to explore further the epidemiology and association between khat use and AMI. Both molecular and population-level studies could help to establish the causal relationship of khat and CVD.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Foziya Mohammed Hussien, Department of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, Wollo University Street, Dessie, Ethiopia 1145. E-mail: foziyamohammed2018@gmail.com

These authors contributed equally to this work.

Authors’ addresses: Ahmed Abdulahi Hussen, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Jigjiga University, Jigjiga, Ethiopia, and Department of Internal Medicine, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harer, Ethiopia, E-mail: ahmediya101@gmail.com. Foziya Mohammed Hussien, Department of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia, E-mail: foziyamohammed2018@gmail.com. Nejib Yusuf, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harer, Ethiopia, E-mail: nejibyusuf@yahoo.com. Aragaw Yimer Ahmed, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia, E-mail: arades2002@gmail.com. Hamid Yimam Hassen, Department of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Mizan-Tepi University, Mizan Teferi, Ethiopia, E-mail: abdulhamidy71@gmail.com.

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