Regular marijuana use may increase the risk of heart failure, stroke, or heart attack, new recent studies suggested.
According to two preliminary studies presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2023, even after accounting for other heart failure risk factors like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, marijuana could increase the risk.
As the use of marijuana, medically known as cannabis, continues to grow across the United States, questions about its impact on heart and brain health remain.
Two separate research groups have shed light on the association between regular marijuana use and the risk of heart failure, heart attack, and stroke.
The first study involved over 150,000 adults participating in the National Institutes of Health-sponsored All of Us Research Program.
Researchers examined the link between daily marijuana use and heart failure. The analysis found that individuals who reported daily marijuana use had a 34% increased risk of developing heart failure, compared to those who never used marijuana. This risk remained consistent across age, sex, and smoking history.
In a secondary analysis, the study found that when coronary artery disease was factored in, the risk of heart failure decreased from 34% to 27%, suggesting that coronary artery disease may be a pathway through which daily marijuana use leads to heart failure.
The second study, using data from the 2019 National Inpatient Sample, focused on older adults with cardiovascular risk factors who reported no tobacco use.
It found that cannabis users with these risk factors had a 20% increased chance of experiencing a major heart or brain event while hospitalised compared to non-cannabis users. Cannabis users also had a higher rate of heart attacks and were more likely to be transferred to other facilities.
These findings emphasise the importance of understanding the potential cardiovascular risks associated with cannabis use.
Researchers recommend that healthcare professionals include questions about cannabis use when assessing patients’ medical history.
However, it’s important to note that the data used in these studies may have limitations and that more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of cannabis use on cardiovascular health.
The study highlighted that the cardiovascular risks of cannabis use are becoming clearer, and they should be carefully considered and monitored by healthcare professionals and the public.
The studies will be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2023, a platform for sharing the latest scientific advancements in cardiovascular science.
These findings emphasise the importance of understanding the potential cardiovascular risks associated with cannabis use. Read More