Medicine

Marijuana smokers have greater risk of death from high blood pressure

Marijuana smokers have greater risk of death from high blood pressure

The study also considered subjects "cannabis users" even if they reported using marijuana just one time and stopped. The findings confirm previous associations that suggested recreational marijuana use may have potentially debilitating cardiovascular effects. Death from hypertension included multiple causes, such as primary hypertension and hypertensive renal disease. More than 17 million people died of these diseases in 2015 globally.

Another study published earlier this year, found no connection between cardiovascular health and cannabis.

Results suggest marijuana use is more unsafe for heart health than cigarettes, despite certain campaigners insisting cannabis is safer than tobacco.

Ms Yankey said: 'Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen demand. "However, there is little research on the impact of marijuana use on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular mortality".

Lead author Barbara Yankey from Georgia State University, said: 'It is important to establish whether any health benefits outweigh the potential health, social and economic risks'.

Obtaining data about people's marijuana consumption is challenging, as there is no longitudinal data available on marijuana use.

Researchers enrolled 1,213 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey participants aged at least 20 years in a retrospective study who answered "yes" or "no" questions on the recreational use of marijuana. However, the new study has emerged as a wake-up call to all those who consider marijuana as medicinally beneficial.

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In 2005 to 2006, the study's participants were asked if they had ever used marijuana and, if so, how old they were when they first started.

Information on marijuana use was merged with mortality data in 2011 from the National Centre for Health Statistics.

'We found higher estimated cardiovascular risks associated with marijuana use than cigarette smoking.

The researchers also controlled for cigarette use, age, race/ethnicity, alcohol use, diagnosis of hypertension and other relevant variables. Among a total of 1213 participants, 34% used neither marijuana nor cigarettes, 21% used only marijuana, 20% used marijuana and smoked cigarettes, 16% used marijuana and were past-smokers, 5% were past-smokers, and 4% only smoked cigarettes. According to the scientists' calculations, the average duration of marijuana use was 11.5 years.

This risk increases by 1.04 times for every year of cannabis use.

Obviously the study had many limitations, but the study authors said the finding jibes with known effects of cannabis. It determined that pot use was more associated with hypertension than cigarette use was.

Marijuana use increases the risk of dying from high blood pressure by more than three times, new research reveals. For example, it can not be certain that participants used marijuana continuously since they first tried it.


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