HomeMedicineCardiologyCase report finds severe heart failure triggered by energy drink abuse

Case report finds severe heart failure triggered by energy drink abuse

Researchers present the cardiotoxic consequences associated with energy drink abuse in a 26-year-old patient.

Energy drinks are widely used to enhance mental and physical performance, owing to the high content of caffeine, taurine, sugar, and other stimulants. In recent years, a number of reports have drawn attention to the side-effects associated with the use and abuse of energy drinks. Particularly troubling are the adverse cardiovascular effects, including the risk of cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death. Researchers from the Quebec Lung and Heart Institute described the case of a 26-year-old female who presented with severe heart failure linked to excessive daily consumption of energy drinks.

The case report, published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, discusses an event of severe dilated cardiomyopathy, in which the ventricles of the heart dilate, weaken and lose the ability to pump blood. The woman was previously healthy with no family history for cardiovascular conditions. Treatment required surgical implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), a mechanical pump that helps the left ventricle pump blood to the rest of the body. Following ten months of mechanical support and medication, the patient regained normal cardiac function and the LVAD was removed.

The authors demonstrate a notable case of cardiotoxicity triggered by massive energy drink consumption. Since energy drinks contain many components, the mechanism by which stimulants induce cardiac dysfunction is unclear and requires further research. The authors concluded that “[energy drink] consumption should be considered a significant public health issue that warrants attention.”


Written by Cheryl Xia, HBMSc


Reference: Belzile, D. et al. DO ENERGY DRINKS REALLY GIVE YOU WINGS? LEFT VENTRICULAR ASSIST DEVICE THERAPY AS A BRIDGE TO RECOVERY FOR AN ENERGY DRINK INDUCED CARDIOMYOPATHY. Canadian Journal of Cardiology S0828282X1931267X (2019) doi:10.1016/j.cjca.2019.09.011.


Image by Dennis Young from Pixabay

Cheryl Xia HBMSc
Cheryl Xia HBMSc
Cheryl is pursuing a Master’s degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Toronto. Her research investigates how contraceptive methods influence cancer risk among BRCA mutation carriers. Cheryl writes about cancer, pharmaceuticals and nutrition for Medical News Bulletin. Her hope is to capture and communicate the latest thrilling advances in science. Cheryl can also be found cooking, listening to podcasts and staying active.


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