Health effects of kava use in an eastern Arnhem Land Aboriginal community

A Clough, Susan Jacups, Z Wang, C Burns, Ross Stewart Bailie, Sheree Cairney, Andrew Collier, T Guyula, S McDonald, Bart Currie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Background: Heavy kava use in Aboriginal communities has been linked to various health effects, including anecdotes of sudden cardiac deaths. Aims: To examine associations between kava use and potential health effects. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out within a kava-using east Arnhem Land Aboriginal community in tropical northern Australia. One-hundred-and-one adults who were current, recent or non-users of kava were enrolled in March 2000. Main outcome measures were physical, anthropometric, biochemical, haematological, immunological and neurocognitive assessments. Results: Kava users more frequently showed a characteristic dermopathy (P < 0.001). They had increased levels of ?-glutamyl transferase and alkaline phosphatase (P < 0.001). Lymphocyte counts were significantly lower in kava users (P < 0.001). Fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and neurocognitive tests were not different between kava use categories. IgE and IgG antibodies were elevated across the whole group, as were C-reactive protein and homocysteine. Conclusions: Kava use was associated with dermopathy, liver function abnormalities and decreased lymphocytes. If kava continues to be used by Aboriginal populations, monitoring should focus on the health consequences of these findings, including a possible increase in serious infections. The interaction between kava, alcohol and other substances requires further study. Although markers of cardiovascular risk are increased across the population, these were not higher in kava users, and this increase may be linked to the large infectious pathogen burden reflective of the socioeconomic disadvantage seen in many remote Aboriginal communities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)336-340
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternal Medicine Journal
    Volume33
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Fingerprint

    Kava
    Health
    Anecdotes
    Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
    Sudden Cardiac Death
    Lymphocyte Count
    Homocysteine
    Transferases
    C-Reactive Protein
    Fibrinogen
    Immunoglobulin E
    Population
    Alkaline Phosphatase

    Cite this

    Clough, A., Jacups, S., Wang, Z., Burns, C., Bailie, R. S., Cairney, S., ... Currie, B. (2003). Health effects of kava use in an eastern Arnhem Land Aboriginal community. Internal Medicine Journal, 33(8), 336-340.
    Clough, A ; Jacups, Susan ; Wang, Z ; Burns, C ; Bailie, Ross Stewart ; Cairney, Sheree ; Collier, Andrew ; Guyula, T ; McDonald, S ; Currie, Bart. / Health effects of kava use in an eastern Arnhem Land Aboriginal community. In: Internal Medicine Journal. 2003 ; Vol. 33, No. 8. pp. 336-340.
    @article{88daf18a6b804510856429e1201c5bdb,
    title = "Health effects of kava use in an eastern Arnhem Land Aboriginal community",
    abstract = "Background: Heavy kava use in Aboriginal communities has been linked to various health effects, including anecdotes of sudden cardiac deaths. Aims: To examine associations between kava use and potential health effects. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out within a kava-using east Arnhem Land Aboriginal community in tropical northern Australia. One-hundred-and-one adults who were current, recent or non-users of kava were enrolled in March 2000. Main outcome measures were physical, anthropometric, biochemical, haematological, immunological and neurocognitive assessments. Results: Kava users more frequently showed a characteristic dermopathy (P < 0.001). They had increased levels of ?-glutamyl transferase and alkaline phosphatase (P < 0.001). Lymphocyte counts were significantly lower in kava users (P < 0.001). Fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and neurocognitive tests were not different between kava use categories. IgE and IgG antibodies were elevated across the whole group, as were C-reactive protein and homocysteine. Conclusions: Kava use was associated with dermopathy, liver function abnormalities and decreased lymphocytes. If kava continues to be used by Aboriginal populations, monitoring should focus on the health consequences of these findings, including a possible increase in serious infections. The interaction between kava, alcohol and other substances requires further study. Although markers of cardiovascular risk are increased across the population, these were not higher in kava users, and this increase may be linked to the large infectious pathogen burden reflective of the socioeconomic disadvantage seen in many remote Aboriginal communities.",
    keywords = "alkaline phosphatase, C reactive protein, fibrinogen, gamma glutamyltransferase, homocysteine, immunoglobulin antibody, immunoglobulin E antibody, immunoglobulin G antibody, kava, plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, aborigine, adult, article, cardiovascular risk, cognition, female, human, liver function, lymphocyte count, major clinical study, male, priority journal, skin disease, socioeconomics, substance abuse, sudden death, Adult, Alkaline Phosphatase, Antibodies, C-Reactive Protein, Cognition, Cross-Sectional Studies, Fibrinogen, gamma-Glutamyltransferase, Humans, Immunoglobulin E, Immunoglobulin G, Kava, Lymphocyte Count, Male, Northern Territory, Oceanic Ancestry Group, Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1, Skin Diseases",
    author = "A Clough and Susan Jacups and Z Wang and C Burns and Bailie, {Ross Stewart} and Sheree Cairney and Andrew Collier and T Guyula and S McDonald and Bart Currie",
    year = "2003",
    language = "English",
    volume = "33",
    pages = "336--340",
    journal = "Internal Medicine Journal",
    issn = "1444-0903",
    publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
    number = "8",

    }

    Clough, A, Jacups, S, Wang, Z, Burns, C, Bailie, RS, Cairney, S, Collier, A, Guyula, T, McDonald, S & Currie, B 2003, 'Health effects of kava use in an eastern Arnhem Land Aboriginal community', Internal Medicine Journal, vol. 33, no. 8, pp. 336-340.

    Health effects of kava use in an eastern Arnhem Land Aboriginal community. / Clough, A; Jacups, Susan; Wang, Z; Burns, C; Bailie, Ross Stewart; Cairney, Sheree; Collier, Andrew; Guyula, T; McDonald, S; Currie, Bart.

    In: Internal Medicine Journal, Vol. 33, No. 8, 2003, p. 336-340.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Health effects of kava use in an eastern Arnhem Land Aboriginal community

    AU - Clough, A

    AU - Jacups, Susan

    AU - Wang, Z

    AU - Burns, C

    AU - Bailie, Ross Stewart

    AU - Cairney, Sheree

    AU - Collier, Andrew

    AU - Guyula, T

    AU - McDonald, S

    AU - Currie, Bart

    PY - 2003

    Y1 - 2003

    N2 - Background: Heavy kava use in Aboriginal communities has been linked to various health effects, including anecdotes of sudden cardiac deaths. Aims: To examine associations between kava use and potential health effects. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out within a kava-using east Arnhem Land Aboriginal community in tropical northern Australia. One-hundred-and-one adults who were current, recent or non-users of kava were enrolled in March 2000. Main outcome measures were physical, anthropometric, biochemical, haematological, immunological and neurocognitive assessments. Results: Kava users more frequently showed a characteristic dermopathy (P < 0.001). They had increased levels of ?-glutamyl transferase and alkaline phosphatase (P < 0.001). Lymphocyte counts were significantly lower in kava users (P < 0.001). Fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and neurocognitive tests were not different between kava use categories. IgE and IgG antibodies were elevated across the whole group, as were C-reactive protein and homocysteine. Conclusions: Kava use was associated with dermopathy, liver function abnormalities and decreased lymphocytes. If kava continues to be used by Aboriginal populations, monitoring should focus on the health consequences of these findings, including a possible increase in serious infections. The interaction between kava, alcohol and other substances requires further study. Although markers of cardiovascular risk are increased across the population, these were not higher in kava users, and this increase may be linked to the large infectious pathogen burden reflective of the socioeconomic disadvantage seen in many remote Aboriginal communities.

    AB - Background: Heavy kava use in Aboriginal communities has been linked to various health effects, including anecdotes of sudden cardiac deaths. Aims: To examine associations between kava use and potential health effects. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out within a kava-using east Arnhem Land Aboriginal community in tropical northern Australia. One-hundred-and-one adults who were current, recent or non-users of kava were enrolled in March 2000. Main outcome measures were physical, anthropometric, biochemical, haematological, immunological and neurocognitive assessments. Results: Kava users more frequently showed a characteristic dermopathy (P < 0.001). They had increased levels of ?-glutamyl transferase and alkaline phosphatase (P < 0.001). Lymphocyte counts were significantly lower in kava users (P < 0.001). Fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and neurocognitive tests were not different between kava use categories. IgE and IgG antibodies were elevated across the whole group, as were C-reactive protein and homocysteine. Conclusions: Kava use was associated with dermopathy, liver function abnormalities and decreased lymphocytes. If kava continues to be used by Aboriginal populations, monitoring should focus on the health consequences of these findings, including a possible increase in serious infections. The interaction between kava, alcohol and other substances requires further study. Although markers of cardiovascular risk are increased across the population, these were not higher in kava users, and this increase may be linked to the large infectious pathogen burden reflective of the socioeconomic disadvantage seen in many remote Aboriginal communities.

    KW - alkaline phosphatase

    KW - C reactive protein

    KW - fibrinogen

    KW - gamma glutamyltransferase

    KW - homocysteine

    KW - immunoglobulin antibody

    KW - immunoglobulin E antibody

    KW - immunoglobulin G antibody

    KW - kava

    KW - plasminogen activator inhibitor 1

    KW - aborigine

    KW - adult

    KW - article

    KW - cardiovascular risk

    KW - cognition

    KW - female

    KW - human

    KW - liver function

    KW - lymphocyte count

    KW - major clinical study

    KW - male

    KW - priority journal

    KW - skin disease

    KW - socioeconomics

    KW - substance abuse

    KW - sudden death

    KW - Adult

    KW - Alkaline Phosphatase

    KW - Antibodies

    KW - C-Reactive Protein

    KW - Cognition

    KW - Cross-Sectional Studies

    KW - Fibrinogen

    KW - gamma-Glutamyltransferase

    KW - Humans

    KW - Immunoglobulin E

    KW - Immunoglobulin G

    KW - Kava

    KW - Lymphocyte Count

    KW - Male

    KW - Northern Territory

    KW - Oceanic Ancestry Group

    KW - Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1

    KW - Skin Diseases

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=10744226996&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    M3 - Article

    VL - 33

    SP - 336

    EP - 340

    JO - Internal Medicine Journal

    JF - Internal Medicine Journal

    SN - 1444-0903

    IS - 8

    ER -

    Clough A, Jacups S, Wang Z, Burns C, Bailie RS, Cairney S et al. Health effects of kava use in an eastern Arnhem Land Aboriginal community. Internal Medicine Journal. 2003;33(8):336-340.