Marijuana associated with three-fold risk of death from hypertension

Barsaba Taglieri
Agosto 9, 2017

This increase in risk was greater than that associated with cigarette smoking, the researchers said.

The study now published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology looks at the marijuana consumption of United States adults and whether there is a link between their use of the drug and cardiovascular mortality. However, governments globally may be making a mistake since a new research study has revealed that marijuana can increase cardiovascular risks. Those who answered "yes" were considered marijuana users by the researchers in this present study.

Study author Josiane Bourque from the University of Montreal, said: 'Our findings confirm that becoming a more regular marijuana user during adolescence is, indeed, associated with a risk of psychotic symptoms.

'[Psychosis symptoms] may be infrequent and thus not problematic for the adolescent, when these experiences are reported continuously, year after year, then there's an increased risk of a first psychotic episode or another psychiatric condition'.

The researchers analyzed 1,213 people aged 20 or over who had been involved in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. As a part of the survey, the participants were asked if they had ever used marijuana and, if so, when they first tried the drug.

Obtaining data about people's marijuana consumption is challenging, as there is no longitudinal data available on marijuana use.

For Yankey's study, information on marijuana use was merged with mortality data in 2011 from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, and adjusted for confounding factors such as tobacco smoking and variables including sex, age and ethnicity. Lead study author Barbara Yankey said that such risks continue to rise with every passing year of marijuana use.

The average duration of use among users of marijuana, or cannabis, was 11.5 years.

Marijuana was found to be more damaging for heart health than tobacco. Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate, [BP] and oxygen demand.

"We found higher estimated cardiovascular risks associated with marijuana use than cigarette smoking", Ms. Yankey concluded. "However, there is little research on the impact of marijuana use on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular mortality".

Marijuana users had a higher risk of dying from hypertension.

The findings were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. We conducted Cox proportional hazards regression analyses to estimate hazard ratios for hypertension, heart disease, and cerebrovascular mortality due to marijuana use.

"It is important to establish whether any health benefits outweigh the potential health, social and economic risks". There was however no association between marijuana use and death from heart disease or cerebrovascular disease.

"Despite the widely held view that cannabis is benign, this research adds to previous work suggesting otherwise", said Ian Hamilton, a lecturer in mental health at Britain's York University.

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