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Cannabis use linked to higher risk of vascular disease

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 9 months ago

New research has suggested that there may be a link between marijuana use and developing peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition where fatty plaque buildup in the arteries limits blood flow to the legs or arms. The study of over 623,000 cannabis users found that they had a higher risk of developing PAD, even younger cannabis users were at an increased risk. Smoking cigarettes has long been known to be a risk factor for PAD, but this study suggests that cannabis users may also have a higher risk of developing PAD, compared to the general population. In the United States, 6.5 million people aged 40 and older have PAD, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With over 48 million Americans using cannabis at least once in 2019, and cannabis use on the rise among younger adults, the authors of the new study say cannabis users should be aware of the symptoms of this condition. One well-known symptom of PAD is pain, aches or cramps in the leg, hip or buttock while walking or doing other physical activity, with relief upon rest. Other signs in the leg that may indicate PAD include muscle weakness, hair loss, smooth and shiny skin, sores or ulcers that don’t heal, and cold or numb toes. Researchers did not have information on which types of cannabis products people used. So the study can’t show whether the increased risk of PAD was related to smoking plant cannabis or from using gummies or other edibles. Doctors should ask patients about cannabis use, and consider it to be an additional risk factor for PAD in their patients.

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