Recent studies presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia have raised concerns about the health risks associated with marijuana use, suggesting potential connections to several major health issues. Unlike previous research, these studies specifically focused on cannabis use, excluding participants who used tobacco, as these substances are often used simultaneously.
Dr. Avilash Mondal, the lead author of one study and a resident physician at Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia, highlighted the uniqueness of their research. By excluding tobacco users, the study aimed to analyze the specific impact of cannabis on cardiovascular outcomes, shedding light on potential health risks associated solely with marijuana use.
The findings revealed concerning trends. One study observed that among 8,535 adults who were marijuana users, there was a 20% higher risk of experiencing a major heart or brain event during hospitalization compared to over 10 million older hospitalized adults who did not use marijuana. Additionally, another study, which followed approximately 160,000 adults with a median age of 54 for about four years, found a 34% increased risk of heart failure among daily marijuana users compared to those who reported never using marijuana.
Moreover, a separate study conducted earlier in the year reported a link between daily marijuana use and an increased risk of coronary artery disease, indicating a 33% higher likelihood of suffering from this condition among regular marijuana users.
Dr. Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, lead author of the heart failure study and a resident physician at Medstar Health in Baltimore, emphasized the need for further investigation into the health implications of marijuana use, particularly its impact on cardiovascular risk. The studies’ revelations underscore the importance of ongoing research to comprehensively understand the potential health risks associated with marijuana consumption, especially concerning its impact on heart health and related cardiovascular conditions.