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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 171-174

Adverse cardiovascular effects of betel nut

1 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University, Pusph Vihar, New Delhi, India
2 Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University, Pusph Vihar, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Cardiology, National Heart Institute, East of Kailash, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shridhar Dwivedi
National Heart Institute, 49–50, East of Kailash, New Delhi.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mgmj.mgmj_20_20

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Background: Areca nut (Areca Catechu) is considered to be the fourth extremely prevalent addictive psychoactive substance consumed widely by about 10%–20% of the world population. Due to its theological and cultural acceptance, areca nut is chewed in different forms and formulations. It has been observed that people who chew supari (areca nut) exclusively for many years suffer from diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease (CAD), oral submucous fibrosis, and oral cancer. We, therefore, planned to see its association with various cardiovascular ailments at our center. Materials and Methods: This was a single-center observational study carried out on people chewing areca nut exclusively (no other toxic or addicting substance) attending cardiac outpatient department (OPD) in National Heart Institute and Research Centre, Delhi, India. The subjects data were collected regarding the history of the disease, consumption of areca nut, and socioeconomic status with relevant work up. Results: There were 17 subjects who primarily chewed areca nut; 11 of them had CAD, diabetes, oral submucous fibrosis, and aplastic anemia. Further, one particular case not only suffered oral cancer but also had two episodes of myocardial infarction, but continued to chew areca nut. The second episode of myocardial infarction was fatal. Conclusion: Areca nut chewing is also associated with significant cardiovascular morbidities besides oral cancer. In such preparations, the risk of some other toxic substances together with areca nut cannot be eliminated as no empirical analysis has been carried out to the best of our knowledge and belief. In order to clarify its effect on other vascular diseases, further work with a larger sample size is required.

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