Canadian research: Current hashish use linked to doubling of coronary heart assault threat in these underneath 45

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The results suggest that no method of consumption is safer than another, suggesting that more needs to be learned about the effects of ingestion on cardiovascular health.

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Angela Stelmakowich The data also showed that the association between cannabis use and myocardial infarction was “stronger among frequent users”. / Photo by vichie81 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Canadian researchers looking at US data found that adults under the age of 45 who recently reported using cannabis were two times more likely to have a heart attack.

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Investigators, published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, considered data from over 33,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 44 who participated in a survey by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study population consisted of “younger adults in the community who are not at high risk of having a heart attack because of their age,” according to a press release.

Of the data examined, 17.5 percent said they had consumed cannabis in the past 30 days.

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The researchers found that 1.3 percent of cannabis users had reported myocardial infarction (MI), compared with 0.8 percent of non-users. A history of MI was associated with cannabis use more than four times a month and with smoking as the primary method of use, the study said.

The data also showed that the association between cannabis use and myocardial infarction “was stronger among heavy users,” the authors note in the press release.

Investigators admit that cannabis users tend to be male, smoke cigarettes, consume e-cigarettes (vaping) and are heavy alcohol drinkers, and these factors “may have contributed to their risk”. Even so, “these factors, as well as other risk factors for myocardial infarction, have been adjusted for in this analysis,” they add.

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While smoking was the main method of consumption among respondents at 76.3 percent, vaping made up 11.3 percent and other forms of consumption, including edibles, were 12.4 percent.

Surprisingly, the association between recent cannabis use and MI was “consistent across all forms of cannabis use, including smoking, vaporizing, and other methods such as edibles,” says Dr. Karim Ladha, a clinician-scientist at Unity Health Toronto, in the statement. “This suggests that no method of consumption is safer than another in this regard,” says Dr. Ladha.

“Although a similarly increased likelihood of myocardial infarction was observed with the methods of recent cannabis use, only smoking as the primary method achieved statistical significance,” the study notes. “Smoking cannabis as the primary method of consumption can exacerbate this mismatch between myocardial oxygen supply and demand by reducing oxygen transport capacity and impairing myocardial oxygen delivery, potentially leading to myocardial infarction.”

Dr. Ladha notes that cannabis use is increasing among young adults in North America.

Information released by Statistics Canada this spring says that around 20 percent of Canadians 15 and older said they’d consumed weed in the past three months. “This was higher than both the 14.0 percent who reported use before legalization and the 17.5 percent who reported use in the first few months after the cannabis law came into force,” it says.

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young man smoking or vaping cigarette or cannabis About 20 percent of Canadians 15 and older said they had consumed weed in the past three months. / Photo by Getty Images

In the US, the CDC reports “Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States, with approximately 22.2 million users per month.” Gallup found in July 2019 that 12 percent of surveyed adults in the United States said they smoke marijuana, a percentage that’s largely unchanged since 2015.

“Increasing cannabis use in a population at risk could have negative effects on cardiovascular health,” warns the study.

“As a young adult, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with cannabis use, especially in the current climate where we are exposed to an abundance of misinformation and non-evidence-based health advice,” adds Nikhil Mistry, a Ph .D . Candidate at the University of Toronto.

Citing existing studies, “the prevalence estimates of the primary method of cannabis use and the frequency of cannabis use are incompletely characterized, and the potential impact of these factors on MI risk remains undefined,” the authors write. In addition, previous studies addressing this issue have mainly focused on patients in hospital settings rather than young adults who use cannabis.

Dr. David Mazer, Clinician Scientist at Unity Health Toronto, emphasizes the need for young adults, physicians, and other clinicians to “be aware of this potentially important relationship. Cannabis use should be taken into account when assessing cardiovascular risk. “

More studies to investigate the relationship are needed, including the fact that the latest study provides “information about the relationship but not the biological mechanism” for cannabis use and MI.

A recent study by the University of Guelph found that consuming weed at a young age can increase the risk of heart disease later on. And an analysis of patients from Michigan who smoked cannabis and had angioplasty found that they were also at higher risk of stroke after the procedure.

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