Marijuana may strongly increase death risk in high blood pressure

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In a recent study from Georgia State University, researchers found that marijuana use is linked to a three-fold risk of death from high blood pressure.

In the study, the team examined participants aged 20 years and above. In 2005-2006, participants were asked if they had ever used marijuana. Those who answered “yes” were considered marijuana users.

Participants reported the age when they first tried marijuana and this was subtracted from their current age to calculate the duration of use.

Information on marijuana use was merged with mortality data in 2011 from the National Centre for Health Statistics.

Among a total of 1 213 participants, 34% used neither marijuana nor cigarettes, 21% used only marijuana, 20% used marijuana and smoked cigarettes, 16% used marijuana and were past-smokers, 5% were past-smokers and 4% only smoked cigarettes.

The average duration of marijuana use was 11.5 years. The team found marijuana users had a higher risk of dying from high blood pressure.

Compared to non-users, marijuana users had a 3.42-times higher risk of death from hypertension and a 1.04 greater risk for each year of use.

These results suggest a possible risk of hypertension mortality from marijuana use. This is not surprising since marijuana is known to have a number of effects on the cardiovascular system.

Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen demand. Emergency rooms have reported cases of angina and heart attacks after marijuana use.

The researchers stated that the heart risk associated with marijuana use may be greater than the cardiovascular risk already established for cigarette smoking.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about common high blood pressure drugs that may actually raise blood pressure, and these teas may help reduce high blood pressure.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about why meat and eggs may harm your heart health, and results showing the cause and treatment for heart damage in COVID-19.

The research is published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology and was conducted by Barbara A Yankey et al.

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