Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Marijuana Use Triples Death Risk from Hypertension

Marijuana Use Triples Death Risk from Hypertension

"Our results suggest a possible risk of hypertension mortality from marijuana use". Researchers examined 1,200 people for six years.

A just-released study found that people who smoke pot have a three times greater risk of dying from hypertension or high blood pressure.

Cardiovascular diseases constitute the leading cause of death worldwide, despite a lot of them being preventable.

"Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen demand", said study co-leader Barbara Yankey of Georgia State University in Atlanta.

If use of marijuana has any impact on cardiovascular diseases as well as deaths, then it is the responsibility of the health community and policy makers to protect the public, says Ms. Yankey.

Results suggest marijuana use is more unsafe for heart health than cigarettes, despite certain campaigners insisting cannabis is safer than tobacco.

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Another longitudinal study from last year involving 1,037 individuals who were followed for 38 years came to a similar conclusion.

To get an approximation of how long the participants had been consuming marijuana, the scientists looked at the age people had when they first tried marijuana and subtracted this from their current age. Combining both datasets, the researchers estimated the associations of marijuana use, and duration of use, with death from hypertension, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease. Among a total of 1213 participants, 34% used neither marijuana nor cigarettes, 21% used only marijuana, 20% used marijuana and smoked cigarettes, 16% used marijuana and were past-smokers, 5% were past-smokers, and 4% only smoked cigarettes. Interviews and examinations on participants were started in 2005.

Researchers at New York University School of Medicine in New York City analyzed information from the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology on disease prevention in people with type 2 diabetes. "Emergency rooms have reported cases of angina and [MIs] after marijuana use". However, governments globally may be making a mistake since a new research study has revealed that marijuana can increase cardiovascular risks. This study attempted to work out the risk of various heart diseases from smoking marijuana, but its findings are far from definite.

Previous research has also shown that marijuana does increase the risk of stress-induced cardiomyopathy, lending weight to the growing evidence of the extended use of the drug and increased risk of cardiac injury-albeit more research is essential.

This risk increases by more than one time for every year of cannabis use, a study found.

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