DALLAS – Frequent cannabis use in young adults is associated with an increased risk of stroke and it has been found that people diagnosed with a disorder of cannabis use are more likely to be hospitalized for arrhythmias (disorders of heart rate), according to two new studies presented at the American Heart Association's 201
In the first study, researchers at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, surveyed over 43,000 adult participants, ages 18 and 24. Approximately 14 percent of participants reported using cannabis 30 days ago.
Frequent cannabis users o Also smoked cigarettes or e-cigarettes were three times more likely to have a stroke than those who did not use. Those who do not use tobacco but report using cannabis for at least 10 days a month are found to be nearly two and a half times more likely to get a stroke than non-users.
Cannabis users have also been found to be more likely to be heavy drinkers as well as current users of cigarettes or e-cigarettes. This may have influenced their risk, although the researchers adjusted for these factors in their analysis.
"Young cannabis users, especially those who use tobacco and have other risk factors for strokes, such as high blood pressure, need to understand that they can increase their risk of stroke at a young age," says lead author of the Tarang study Parah, MBBS, MS, Health Policy Researcher at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
"Doctors should ask patients whether they use cannabis and advise them on its potential risk of stroke as part of regular doctor visits."
Two but and studies have found a link between frequent cannabis use and increased risk of stroke, as well as a link between cannabis disorder use and increased risk of arrhythmia. (Courtesy of the American Heart Association)
A second study looked at patients, diagnosed with a disorder of cannabis use – characterized by frequent, obsessive use of marijuana, similar to alcoholism – and found that people with the disorder have a 50 percent higher risk of hospitalization due to arrhythmia in avg. aviation with non-users.
In particular, the study found that young African American men aged 15 to 24 years who had a disorder of cannabis use had the highest risk of hospitalization due to arrhythmia. .
However, the demographic group that is most likely to be diagnosed with the disorder is white men, 45 to 54 years old. Some arrhythmias can be benign, but others can be life-threatening.
'The effects of cannabis use are seen within 15 minutes and last for about three hours. At lower doses, it is associated with an increased heart rate. At higher doses, it is associated with a slow heart rate, "says Rickinumar S. Patel, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD, MD. arrhythmia in young people is a major concern and doctors should ask patients hospitalized with arrhythmias about their use of cannabis and other substances as they could trigger their arrhythmias, "says Patel.
"Because medical and recreational cannabis is legalized in many states, it is important to know the difference between therapeutic cannabis dosing for medical purposes and the effects of cannabis abuse. We urgently need more research to understand these issues, "says Patel.
In both studies, the findings were merely observational and have not yet established any cause-and-effect relationship, but the authors of both studies say that the trends noted are sufficient to
"As these products become more widely used throughout the country, increasingly clear, scientifically rigorous data will be important as we seek to understand the overall health effects of cannabis "Said Robert Harrington, President of the American Heart Association and Professor of Medicine Arthur L. Bloomfield and chair of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University in Stanford, California.
The American Heart Association has no opinion on marijuana legalization, for a public health infrastructure that puts us in cannabis in the same regulated space as tobacco through efforts like age-restricted purchasing and comprehensive smokeless air laws, among other measures.
This story was reported by Los Angeles.