A new study suggests that pot users have a threefold risk of being killed by hypertension aka high blood pressure than non-users. Researchers also found that the risk is increasing with every year of use.
The research, which involved 1,200 people, could have a huge impact on the U.S. marijuana industry. In several states, cannabis is legal for medical and/or recreational purposes, while other states are inching closer to legalization.
Co-author of the research Barbara Yankey noted that U.S. legislatures based their decision to legalize marijuana on the assumption that it is beneficial and has no side-effects. However, the research team advises states to first analyze if risks outweigh benefits in the long term. The latest findings show that marijuana use might be a culprit in some cardiovascular diseases and fatalities.
The findings appeared this week in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
For the study, researchers sifted through data on 1,213 young people who had taken part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. At one point during the survey, they were asked if they had ever used pot.
The Study’s Findings
The new study combined that data with mortality data from CV conditions. The data was taken from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, which adjusted the findings for other risk factors like age, tobacco smoking, and physical activity.
Study participants used marijuana for 11.5 years on average. The study revealed the risk of death from high blood pressure jumped 3.42 times in marijuana users. The risk climbed 1.04 percent every passing year.
Scientists found no link between pot smoking and risk of death from heart disease and stroke. The new research adds to the body of studies that found marijuana can negatively impact the cardiovascular system.
Yankei explained that the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system by marijuana can increase heart rate, oxygen demand, and blood pressure.
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