Using weed regularly raises the risk of heart problems for young people, studies find

Younger people with cannabis use disorder are at an increased risk of heart rhythm problems, according to a new presentation at the American Heart Associatio...

Posted: Nov 11, 2019 4:09 PM

Younger people with cannabis use disorder are at an increased risk of heart rhythm problems, according to a new presentation at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. A second presentation says that young people who use weed frequently are at a higher risk for stroke.

The first presentation found that a young person diagnosed with a cannabis use disorder had a 47% to 52% greater risk of being hospitalized for an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, if they regularly used weed.

Heart rhythm problems occur when the electrical impulses that make your heart beat in time don't work quite right -- making your heart beat too fast or too slow, or irregularly. This isn't just a disconcerting feeling; it can be deadly. A problem with the heart's rhythm can also lead to a stroke or heart failure.

In the presentation, scientists noticed the connection between weed and heart problems by looking at data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, the largest publicly available all-payer inpatient health care database in the US that gives national estimates of hospital stays.

In that data, 2.6% of patients hospitalized for a heart arrhythmia were regular cannabis users. These patients tended to be younger, between the ages of 15 and 24, male and black.

Adjusting for other factors, 15- to 24-year-old weed users had 1.28 times higher odds of having to go to the hospital for this heart problem and 25- to 34-year-olds faced 1.52 times higher odds.

"The effects of using cannabis are seen within 15 minutes and last for around three hours. At lower doses, it is linked to a rapid heartbeat. At higher doses, it is linked to a too-slow heartbeat," Dr. Rikinkumar S. Patel, resident physician in the department of psychiatry at the Griffin Memorial Hospital in Norman, Oklahoma, said in a press release.

"The risk of cannabis use linked to arrhythmia in young people is a major concern, and physicians should ask patients hospitalized with arrhythmias about their use of cannabis and other substances because they could be triggering their arrhythmias."

In the other presentation, researches noted that young people who use cannabis more than 10 days a month were nearly 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke, compared to people who didn't use the drug. For those who frequently used cannabis and also also smoked cigarettes or used e-cigarettes, the risk was even higher. They were three times more likely to have a stroke, compared to people who did not smoke or use e-cigarettes and weed.

For that study, researchers looked at data from 43,000 adults who were a part of the behavioral risk factor surveillance system between 2016 and 2017. The participants were between the age of 18 to 44, and 14% said they had used cannabis in the last 30 days. Those who said they used the drug were typically younger, male, and Hispanic or African American.

This was an observational study and did not look at what might cause the increased risk. But authors hope doctors will take the information into account when they talk to their patients.

"Physicians should ask patients if they use cannabis and counsel them about its potential stroke risk as part of regular doctor visits," co-author Tarang Parekh, a health policy research at George Mason University, said in a statement.

This research is consistent with some other studies and builds on what scientists already know about the way in which cannabinoids interact with the heart. Earlier research has shown that using cannabinoids can raise a person's resting heart rate and dilate their blood vessels, making the heart pump much harder. It's also known that the risk of a heart attack is much higher in the hour after someone smokes weed, if the person already has an underlying heart condition. In some studies, cannabis use has been found to be associated with stroke and myocardial infarction.

With the legalization of weed in several states, researchers said they hope more scientists will look into any potential health risks as the use of the drug becomes more acceptable.

Huntsville
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 74°
Florence
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 71°
Fayetteville
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Decatur
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 56441

Reported Deaths: 1136
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7012170
Mobile5061140
Montgomery4599112
Tuscaloosa274353
Madison25359
Marshall205012
Shelby176425
Lee164737
Morgan13975
Baldwin134111
Walker111332
Elmore107622
Etowah106914
Dallas10189
DeKalb10017
Franklin95016
Unassigned77728
Autauga71515
Russell7130
Chambers68530
Cullman6686
Limestone6653
Butler65529
Houston6417
Tallapoosa63069
Lauderdale6006
St. Clair5983
Calhoun5545
Colbert5286
Escambia5128
Lowndes49222
Pike4805
Jackson4422
Coffee4364
Covington43512
Talladega4177
Dale4061
Barbour4022
Bullock37810
Hale36323
Marengo36111
Chilton3452
Blount3311
Clarke3236
Wilcox3158
Marion30914
Winston3095
Sumter29713
Pickens2786
Randolph2759
Monroe2683
Perry2552
Conecuh2388
Bibb2271
Macon2229
Choctaw22012
Greene2009
Henry1573
Washington1529
Lawrence1460
Crenshaw1343
Cherokee1317
Geneva1010
Fayette901
Clay892
Lamar891
Coosa671
Cleburne481
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 65274

Reported Deaths: 749
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby14163224
Davidson13976146
Rutherford375539
Hamilton353538
Sumner204056
Williamson193916
Knox171710
Out of TN166012
Trousdale15105
Wilson126117
Putnam10817
Unassigned10772
Bradley10104
Robertson97313
Sevier9244
Montgomery8247
Tipton7177
Lake6960
Macon6467
Bledsoe6311
Bedford6309
Hamblen5084
Maury4993
Hardeman4444
Madison3842
Fayette3805
Rhea3500
Blount3483
Loudon3312
Dyer3023
McMinn29319
Cheatham2873
Dickson2820
Washington2760
Lawrence2506
Sullivan2485
Cumberland2294
Anderson2112
Gibson2031
Jefferson1931
Lauderdale1934
Smith1852
Warren1590
Greene1572
Monroe1566
Coffee1520
Cocke1460
Haywood1413
Hardin1407
Obion1273
Marshall1232
Wayne1230
Franklin1223
Giles1221
McNairy1171
Hickman1120
Carter1082
Marion1014
DeKalb990
Hawkins952
Lincoln950
White933
Roane880
Henderson830
Chester810
Overton791
Weakley791
Claiborne760
Campbell721
Grundy672
Crockett653
Unicoi600
Grainger590
Cannon580
Carroll571
Polk570
Henry540
Sequatchie520
Jackson500
Johnson490
Humphreys482
Perry430
Meigs400
Decatur350
Morgan341
Fentress290
Scott290
Union280
Stewart270
Clay230
Houston230
Moore230
Benton161
Hancock120
Lewis120
Van Buren90
Pickett80

 

 

Community Events