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Marijuana Use Linked To Stroke And Heart Failure: Study

10 March 2017, 11:54 pm EST By Athena Chan Tech Times
New research on more than 300,000 hospital data suggests a link between marijuana use and a heightened risk for heart failure and stroke. Researchers aim for continued studies and healthy dissemination of information.  ( Christopher Furlong | Getty Images )

Studies on the benefits and ill effects of marijuana uses have been cropping up in the past decades, but even more so after the legalization of medical marijuana in many states across the country. Now, a new study found that marijuana usage is linked to an increased risk for stroke and heart failure.

Marijuana Users At Risk Of Heart Failure?

A study set to be presented on March 18 at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session found that marijuana users have a higher risk for stroke and heart failure, even after considering other lifestyle health factors such as smoking and alcohol intake.

Researchers of the study reviewed more than 20 million health records of patients from over 1,000 hospitals across the country and found that 316,000 of the patients or 1.5 percent of the sample size reported marijuana use. Even after taking other cardiovascular risk heightening factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, and vices, into consideration, researchers found that marijuana use increased the risk for stroke by 26 percent and 10 percent for developing heart failure at some point in their lives.

Researchers noted that the data they gathered were from hospital records of patient discharges between the years of 2009 and 2010, before the legalization of medical marijuana. What's more, they treated marijuana just like any other drug with direct effects and side effects.

The indirect information gathered by the researchers which does not take into account the patients' history nor amount, degree, and frequency of marijuana usage among the patients. As such, researchers suggest further studies on the effect of marijuana usage on cardiovascular health for the information of the public.

Healthy Information

Even before its legalization, many have already argued the benefits of medical marijuana. Though reports are sometimes contradicting, a recent and most comprehensive report to date has confirmed the pain relieving effects of marijuana, though still urges further research on its other benefits.

This, however, still does not stop people from trying the drug when all other medications available to the market still do not work for them. A recent survey in Australia showed that many epilepsy patients choose to try medical marijuana when anti-epileptic drugs do not work for them or when the side effects of current drugs are intolerable for them to handle.

From epilepsy to autism and even pain relief for their canine companions, it is easy to see why some people resort to cannabis, which makes studies such as this one relevant in informing the public of the possible benefits and ill effects of the substance.

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