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Study finds cannabis overuse linked to heart failure and heart attacks

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 7 months ago

A new study conducted by researchers in Canada has found that adults who overuse cannabis are 60% more likely to experience heart failure, strokes, or heart attacks compared to adults of the same age and sex without cannabis use disorder (CUD). The study, published in Addiction, analyzed the health of nearly 30,000 participants with CUD who were then paired with adults without CUD exposure.

The study, which involved five health databases in Alberta, Canada, revealed that apparently healthy individuals are still at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease if they have CUD. CUD refers to the continued use of cannabis despite significant negative effects on one's life and health, and it affects around 27% to 34% of people who use cannabis.

Interestingly, the study found that adults with CUD, particularly those without simultaneous mental health disorders or other chronic conditions, were more at risk for cardiovascular disease if they were not on prescription medications and had not used healthcare services in the past six months. The results of the study should be considered exploratory, but the researchers suggest that using CUD as a marker could help users take preventive action through increased testing, screening, or surveillance for cardiovascular disease in these at-risk groups.

The prevalence of marijuana use in the United States has significantly risen over the past decade, with an estimated 55 million Americans regularly using marijuana. Cannabis has already been linked to serious cardiovascular events such as heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes due to the stress it can put on the heart. Smoking cannabis can raise a person's heart rate, dilate blood vessels, and make the heart pump harder immediately after use.

It is worth noting that the findings of this study are observational and do not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship. However, they provide insights into patterns within the dataset and highlight potential risks associated with CUD.

As marijuana use continues to gain popularity and legality in many states, it is crucial to consider both the potential benefits and risks associated with its use. Further research and understanding are needed to fully grasp the impact of cannabis on cardiovascular health and overall well-being.

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