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Smoking weed could lead to fatally high blood pressure

Smoking weed could lead to fatally high blood pressure

Cardiologists said people who smoke pot are at increased risk for dangerously high blood pressure.

The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, was a retrospective follow-up study of 1,213 people aged 20 or above who had been involved in a large and ongoing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

During 2005-06, these participants were asked whether they had used marijuana ever and the ones who answered "yes" were considered as users of marijuana. And the findings are significant since the study reveals that marijuana can lead to a three-fold risk of death from hypertension. This risk increases by 1.04 times for every year of cannabis use.

The elevated risk of hypertension-related death "is not surprising since marijuana is known to have a number of effects on the cardiovascular system", she explained in the press release. Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen demand.

"Compared with no marijuana use, cumulative lifetime and recent marijuana use showed no association with incident CVD [cardiovascular disease], stroke, or transient ischemic attacks, coronary heart disease, or CVD mortality", the authors of that study wrote. But, there is a lack in research on the effect of marijuana use on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular deaths.

Previous research has also shown that marijuana does increase the risk of stress-induced cardiomyopathy, lending weight to the growing evidence of the extended use of the drug and increased risk of cardiac injury-albeit more research is essential. The average duration of marijuana use was 11.5 years. "If marijuana use is implicated in cardiovascular diseases and deaths, then it rests on the health community and policy makers to protect the public".

Armentano also argued that this new study's results are also jeopardized because of the ambiguous definition of "marijuana user".

Yankey acknowledged the study had its limitations, including not knowing how often participants used the drug after first use, and not taking into account cardiovascular risks such as diet and exercise.

When it comes to heart health, is marijuana any safer for you than tobacco?

According to Okosun, "The take-home message is that marijuana use may be. associated with cardiovascular diseases, but the verdict is really not out yet because we are still accumulating information and data".

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