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Friday, February 23, 2024
Feb. 23, 2024

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Studies: Marijuana use raises risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke


A pair of studies have found that older adults who use marijuana have more risk of heart attack or stroke when hospitalized than non-users and are more likely to develop heart failure if they are a daily user.

The two studies, which have not been published, were presented Monday at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia. Both studies excluded cannabis users who also smoke tobacco to focus solely on the cardiovascular effects of marijuana consumption.

The AHA recommends against smoking tobacco or marijuana because of the potential damaging effects on the heart, lungs and blood vessels.

“The latest research about cannabis use indicates that smoking and inhaling cannabis increases concentrations of blood carboxyhemoglobin (carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas) and tar (partly burned combustible matter) similar to the effects of inhaling a tobacco cigarette, both of which have been linked to heart muscle disease, chest pain, heart rhythm disturbances, heart attacks and other serious conditions,” University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences professor Robert Page II said in a statement.

The number of seniors age 65 and over who report smoking marijuana or consuming edibles increased in recent years, even doubling between 2015 and 2018, according to CNN.

One of the studies presented Monday found that frequent marijuana use has a negative effect on people with chronic conditions, like high blood pressure and cholesterol or diabetes.

The researchers found that people who use marijuana had a 20 percent greater risk of of having a heart attack or stroke while hospitalized.