Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Marijuana + High Blood Pressure = Greater Death Risk

Results found marijuana use is more dangerous for heart health than smoking cigarettes Results found marijuana use is more dangerous for heart health than smoking cigarettes
Sammy Stanley | 11 August, 2017, 00:23

"We found that marijuana users had a greater than threefold risk of death from hypertension and the risk increased with each additional year of use", Yankey said in the release.

Barbara Yankey, who co-led the research at Georgia State University, said the study could have implications in the wake of marijuana legalization in several states.

Though researchers surveyed participants to see who did or didn't use the drug, the subjects were not tested throughout the course of study for confirmation.

"Prolonged marijuana use may increase the risk of hypertension [high blood pressure] mortality", she said.

Among a total of 1,213 participants, marijuana users had a higher risk of dying from hypertension, according to the findings published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Results reveal marijuana users have a 3.42 times higher risk of a high blood pressure-related death than non-users. Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen demand. The researchers estimated the associations of marijuana use, and duration of use, with death from hypertension, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease, controlling for cigarette use and demographic variables including sex, age, and ethnicity. "Needless to say, the detrimental effects of marijuana on brain function far exceed that of cigarette smoking". In light of the debate over whether or not to legalize marijuana, Okosun explained, "the same way we have been very prudent to look into cigarette smoking, we should also be very prudent about ascertaining whether or not patients use marijuana".

When it comes to heart health, is marijuana any safer for you than tobacco?

Yankey acknowledged the study had its limitations, including not knowing how often participants used the drug after first use, and not taking into account cardiovascular risks such as diet and exercise. "If marijuana use is implicated in cardiovascular diseases and deaths, then it rests on the health community and policy makers to protect the public".

The risk increases by more than one time for every year of cannabis use.

In his response to Healthline, Armentano pointed out two separate longitudinal studies that examined the relationship between marijuana use and some common cardiovascular ailments.

Another study published earlier this year, found no connection between cardiovascular health and cannabis.

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