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Khat chewing, cardiovascular diseases and other internal medical problems: the current situation and directions for future research

Al-Motarreb, Ahmed, Al-Habori, M. and Broadley, Kenneth John ORCID: 2010. Khat chewing, cardiovascular diseases and other internal medical problems: the current situation and directions for future research. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 132 (3) , pp. 540-548. 10.1016/j.jep.2010.07.001

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The leaves of khat (Catha edulis Forsk.) are chewed as a social habit for the central stimulant action of their cathinone content. This review summarizes the prevalence of the habit worldwide, the actions, uses, constituents and adverse health effects of khat chewing. There is growing concern about the health hazards of chronic khat chewing and this review concentrates on the adverse effects on health in the peripheral systems of the body, including the cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract. Comparisons are made with amphetamine and ecstasy in particular on the detrimental effects on the cardiovascular system. The underlying mechanisms of action of khat and its main constituent, cathinone, on the cardiovascular system are discussed. Links have been proposed between khat chewing and the incidence of myocardial infarction, dilated cardiomyopathy, vascular disease such as hypertension, cerebrovascular ischaemia and thromboembolism, diabetes, sexual dysfunction, duodenal ulcer and hepatitis. The evidence, however, is often based on limited numbers of case reports and only few prospective controlled studies have been undertaken. There is therefore an urgent need for more thorough case-control studies to be performed. This review outlines the current knowledge on the adverse health effects of khat chewing on the cardiovascular system and other internal medical problems, it assesses the evidence and the limitations of the studies and identifies the questions that future studies should address.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Subjects: R Medicine > RS Pharmacy and materia medica
Uncontrolled Keywords: Khat; Myocardial infarction; Hypertension; Vasoconstriction; Cathinone
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0378-8741
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 13:47

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