Marijuana Use Linked To Heart Problems

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 04/24/2014 | 11:15 AM EDT

Researchers discover patients who smoke weed are at risk for cardiovascular disease

Young people who use marijuana may be at risk for heart attacks and other serious cardiovascular problems, a new study finds.


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Despite the fact that proponents have long argued that smoking marijuana is completely harmless, researchers reviewed French records on drug abuse and dependence that found a link between cannabis use and cardiovascular complications. In data from 2006 to 2010, researchers found 35 reports of patients who experienced heart problems, nine cases in which patients died. About 85 percent of the patients were men and their average age was 34.


While the study doesn't identify a particular level of risk of marijuana use, it does call for more research on the subject, and warns doctors that there seems to be at least some danger.


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Only 20 percent of patients in the study had a known history of heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. The other patients may have had unknown cardiovascular risk factors or a history that was not documented in the medical file. Nonetheless, previous research has suggested marijuana use may double the risk of stroke in young adults.


In America, ballots to legalize marijuana are in place in several states including New York and Florida. Most Americans are in favor of the legalization of marijuana, which ultimately led the White House to step back from the government’s “war on drugs” and allow states to pass their own laws on marijuana use. However, like alcohol and cigarettes, even legal substances have their potential health risks.


What do you think about the heart risks linked to marijuana use? Sound off.

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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