Marijuana triples your chances of dying from high BP

Credit iStock

Credit iStock

Barbara Yankey, who co-led the research at Georgia State University, said the study could have implications in the wake of marijuana legalization in several states.

'However, there is little research on the impact of marijuana use on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular mortality'.

The researchers studied 1,213 people aged 20 or over who had been involved in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.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.

Researchers at New York University School of Medicine in New York City analyzed information from the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology on disease prevention in people with type 2 diabetes. Participants who used marijuana and were past-smokers consisted of 16%, and past-smokers and those who smoke only cigarettes were 5% and 4% respectively. The average duration of cannabis use was 11-and-a-half years.

The study, as most professional studies will do, adjusted for factors such as sex of the person, age, ethnicity and even, whether the person smoked cigarettes too.

The findings of the study showed that the marijuana users possessed a greater risk of dying from hypertension.

Though the long-term health effects of marijuana use are still contested among many health professionals, the George State study yielded one clear conclusion: regular marijuana users are reportedly three times more likely to die by hypertension - or high blood pressure - than non-marijuana users.

There was no link between pot use and mortality risk from heart or cerebrovascular disease. THC acts on the endocannabinoid system, which regulates your heart function, and can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

'Emergency rooms have reported cases of angina and heart attacks after marijuana use'. The researchers acknowledged "the number of smokers in our study was small and this needs to be examined in a larger study". Many parts of the world have already made marijuana legal and others are exploring the possibility to follow the same path. "If marijuana use is implicated in cardiovascular diseases and deaths, then it rests on the health community and policy makers to protect the public".

She said: "Support for liberal marijuana use is partly due to claims that it is beneficial and possibly not harmful to health".

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