Marijuana use linked to increased risk of death from high blood pressure

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Researchers from Georgia State University have discovered that marijuana use is associated with a three-fold increase in the risk of death due to high blood pressure.

This finding emerged from a study examining participants aged 20 and above, focusing on their marijuana usage and its long-term effects on their health.

In 2005-2006, the study’s participants were asked if they had ever used marijuana. Those who responded “yes” were classified as marijuana users.

They also reported the age when they first tried marijuana, allowing researchers to calculate the duration of their use by subtracting this age from their current age. The researchers then merged this marijuana use data with mortality information from the National Centre for Health Statistics, collected in 2011.

The study included a total of 1,213 participants, with various smoking habits: 34% neither used marijuana nor smoked cigarettes, 21% used only marijuana, 20% used both marijuana and cigarettes, 16% used marijuana and were past smokers, 5% were past smokers only, and 4% smoked cigarettes only. On average, participants had used marijuana for 11.5 years.

The results showed that marijuana users had a significantly higher risk of dying from high blood pressure. Specifically, marijuana users had a 3.42-times higher risk of death from hypertension compared to non-users, and this risk increased by 1.04 for each year of marijuana use.

These findings suggest a substantial risk of hypertension mortality associated with marijuana use, which is not entirely surprising given marijuana’s known effects on the cardiovascular system.

Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increased heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen demand. There have been numerous emergency room reports of angina and heart attacks following marijuana use.

The researchers emphasized that the cardiovascular risk linked to marijuana use might be even greater than the risk already established for cigarette smoking.

This study underscores the importance of understanding the potential heart health risks associated with marijuana, especially as its use becomes more widespread and accepted.

For those concerned about blood pressure, it’s essential to stay informed about the potential risks and benefits of common treatments and lifestyle choices.

Some studies suggest that certain high blood pressure medications may inadvertently raise blood pressure, while specific teas might help reduce it.

Furthermore, heart health can be influenced by dietary choices, with research indicating that meat and eggs might harm heart health. Understanding these factors is crucial, especially in light of findings related to heart damage from COVID-19 and its potential treatments.

The research, led by Barbara A. Yankey and her team, was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. This study provides valuable insights into the long-term health effects of marijuana use and highlights the need for further research and public awareness regarding its cardiovascular risks.

If you care about heart health, please read studies that vitamin K helps cut heart disease risk by a third, and a year of exercise reversed worrisome heart failure.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about supplements that could help prevent heart disease, stroke, and results showing this food ingredient may strongly increase heart disease death risk.

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