Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Marijuana smokers have greater risk of death from high blood pressure

Marijuana smokers have greater risk of death from high blood pressure

Yankey is a PhD student in the School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, US.

Going from being an occasional marijuana user to indulging every day increases the risk of psychosis by up to 159 percent, research revealed last month. "Based upon the findings of prior studies, the authors' interpretation with regard to the degree of this risk potential appears to be sensational, and the methods used in this particular study appear to be highly questionable". Despite certain campaigners emphasizes cannabis is safer than tobacco, the Study shown that use of marijuana is more unsafe for the heart than cigarettes.

'[Psychosis symptoms] may be infrequent and thus not problematic for the adolescent, when these experiences are reported continuously, year after year, then there's an increased risk of a first psychotic episode or another psychiatric condition'.

In 2005 to 2006, the study's participants were asked if they had ever used marijuana and, if so, how old they were when they first started. They controlled for other risk factors cigarette use and demographic variables such as sex, age, and ethnicity.

The team also looked at mortality data in 2011 from the National Centre for Health Statistics.

"We found that marijuana users had a greater than threefold risk of death from hypertension and the risk increased with each additional year of use", Ms. Yankey noted.

Another study published earlier this year, found no connection between cardiovascular health and cannabis.

"Steps are being taken towards legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana in the U.S., and rates of recreational marijuana use may increase substantially as a result", lead author Barbara Yankey, from Georgia State University said in a statement. The study said there was no relationship between pot use and heart disease or cerebrovascular problems like strokes. For each year of marijuana use, the HR was 1.04 (95% CI, 1-1.07).

Neither cumulative lifetime nor recent use of marijuana is associated with the incidence of [cardiovascular disease].

More than half of Americans with type 2 diabetes don't meet guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention, according to a review in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. "This is not surprising since marijuana is known to have a number of effects on the cardiovascular system", Yankey said. Also, in order to make informed decisions, it is vital for individuals as well as the policy makers to understand the impact of marijuana on health.

"Despite the widely held view that cannabis is benign, this research adds to previous work suggesting otherwise".

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