The American College of Cardiology has some bad news for pot smokers: The drug might increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study looked at the health records of more than 20 million patients from more than 1,000 different hospitals. Of those, 316,000 patients reported using marijuana.
Marijuana use may lead to 26 per cent increase in the risk of stroke and a 10 per cent increase in the risk of developing heart failure, researcher has found.
In those patients, pot use was linked with obesity, high blood pressure, smoking and alcohol use — all things that are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“Like all other drugs, whether they’re prescribed or not prescribed, we want to know the effects and side effects of this drug,” said the study’s lead author Aditi Kalla from Einstein Medical Centre in Philadelphia, US.
“It’s important for physicians to know these effects so we can better educate patients, such as those who are inquiring about the safety of cannabis or even asking for a prescription for cannabis,” Kalla said.
The researchers extracted records from young and middle-aged patients — age 18-55 years — who were discharged from hospitals in 2009 and 2010.
Marijuana use was diagnosed in about 1.5 per cent (316,000) of more than 20 million health records included in the analysis.
Comparing cardiovascular disease rates in these patients to disease rates in patients not reporting marijuana use, the researchers found marijuana use was associated with a significantly increased risk for stroke, heart failure, coronary artery disease and sudden cardiac death.
The findings are scheduled to be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 66th Annual Scientific Session to be held in Washington, DC from March 17-19, 2017.