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Consumption Of Marijuana May Pose Heart & Stroke Risk: American Heart Association

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According to recent research by the American Heart Association (AHA), marijuana usage may be harmful to the brain and heart. An AHA research found that daily marijuana usage is associated with a 34% increased risk of heart failure.

Although marijuana is widely used recreationally, its effects on the cardiovascular system may not be entirely benign. The AHA revealed two new studies at their 2023 Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which indicated that frequent marijuana usage can raise the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure, particularly in older adults with existing medical issues.

In the first trial, 156,999 participants who were free of heart failure at the beginning of the investigation were tracked. During the roughly four years that they were followed up on, 2,958 of them experienced heart failure. In comparison to those who never used marijuana, the researchers discovered that daily marijuana users had a 34% increased risk of heart failure. Their age, sex at birth, or history of smoking had no bearing on this risk.

The study also discovered that the individuals’ chance of heart failure decreased from 34% to 27% when they had coronary artery disease, a condition that narrows the blood veins supplying the heart.

Dr. Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, a resident physician at MedStar Health in Baltimore and the principal author of the study, hypothesises that regular marijuana usage may cause coronary artery damage, which in turn may lead to heart failure.

“Prior research shows links between marijuana use and cardiovascular diseases like coronary artery disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation, which is known to cause heart failure,” stated Bene-Alhasan.

The second research looked at 28,535 marijuana users who also had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or Type 2 diabetes as additional cardiovascular risk factors. The 2019 National Inpatient Sample, which keeps track of hospital admissions across the country, provided the statistics. Since tobacco and marijuana are occasionally used simultaneously, the study concentrated on persons over 65 who did not smoke.

The study’s lead author, Avilash Mondal, M.D., a resident physician at Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia, noted that their study was unique because it excluded tobacco users and focused only on cannabis users. The results showed that 20% of marijuana users experienced a major heart or brain event, such as a heart attack or stroke, while they were in the hospital.

Another 13.9% had a major adverse heart and brain event, which means they died or had a serious complication. Additionally, marijuana users with cardiovascular risk factors had a higher risk of heart attacks than non-users, 7.6% versus 6%, respectively.

There is more research that connect marijuana usage to cardiovascular issues than the AHA study.

Daily marijuana usage can raise the risk of coronary artery disease by one-third when compared to non-users, according to a 2023 study conducted by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

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