According to LiveScience, a study conducted by the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia suggests that marijuana users have an increased risk of a number of cardiovascular diseases, including strokes and heart failure. The study did have some limited parameters, pointing to the need for more research.
The study looked at the records of 20 million Americans between the ages of 18 to 55 who had been admitted to 1,000 hospitals across the United States and then discharged in 2009 and 2010. The patients who reported using marijuana were compared to those who did not. It turns out that marijuana users are 26 percent more likely to have a stroke and 10 percent more likely to have heart failure than those who did not use.
The link between marijuana use and cardiovascular disease is not clear. In the case of heart failure, the drug may affect the heart’s ability to contract. In the event of a stroke, pot could increase the chance of developing blood clots.
It should be noted that the study did not ascertain whether the marijuana users smoked or ingested the drug nor how often they used. However, further studies with these factors taken account of should reveal more data on the link between pot use and cardiovascular disease.
In the meanwhile, people who use marijuana in states where it is legal should be made aware of the possible side effects. Also, patients who are prescribed medicinal pot should be monitored for the development of cardiovascular diseases as a result of their treatment.
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