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Editor's Correspondence
September 14, 1998

Cocaine Use and Chest Pain Syndromes

Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(16):1827-1829. doi:

Hollander and colleagues1 found that among 129 patients who presented to emergency departments (EDs) during February 1996 with chest pain syndromes, cocaine use was documented by 1 or more physicians or nurses at a rate of only 13%. Other cardiac risk factors were documented more frequently: tobacco use, 90%; hypertension, 82%; family history of premature coronary disease, 77%; diabetes mellitus, 73%; and hypercholesterolemia, 58%. The authors emphasize that efforts to question patients about cocaine use more frequently are necessary since cocaine abuse is a common reason for visits to urban EDs for chest pain, and since recent use of cocaine may alter treatment and disposition.

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