Regular smokers of marijuana are at greater risk of heart attack — especially younger users.
So claims a new study being presented this week at the American College of Cardiology in Washington DC.
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, obtained and then compared health records from 210,000 cannabis users and 10 million patients who did not smoke the drug, reports an article from the Daily Mail.
What they allege to have found is that regular cannabis users in their 20s are three times more likely to have a heart attack than non-users.
People in their 30s who regularly smoke are 4.6 times more likely.
Several factors are in play, according to the researchers. Regular smokers typically have higher blood pressure, smoke tobacco, drink more alcohol and have type 2 diabetes. Altogether these are risks that raise the odds for cardiac problems.
The study compared people across similar lifestyles who did or did not regularly smoke.
There have been very few studies into the affects of the legalization movement on the broad cardiac health of the public. “Legalization of cannabis is growing in support in the U.S. and across the globe, meaning that more cardiologists are going to see patients presenting with the side effects,” says Dr. Tarek Chami, lead author of the study, in the news report.