A new study conducted by a team of scientists finds that marijuana use is associated with a three-fold risk of death from hypertension. According to reports, the researchers involved in the new study found that individuals who use Marijuana have a higher risk of death from hypertension.
“Steps are being taken towards legalization and decriminalization of marijuana in the United States, and rates of recreational marijuana use may increase substantially as a result. However, there is little research on the impact of marijuana use on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular mortality,” lead author and a Ph.D. student in the School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, US, Barbara A Yankey said.
According to Science Daily, while conducting the new study, the study authors designed a retrospective follow-up study of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The report stated that this was because of the absence of longitudinal data on marijuana use. The participants involved in the study are aged 20 years and above.
Another report by Eurekalert stated that the study participants were asked in 2005 to 2006 if they had ever used marijuana. The researcher considered the participant’s who replied with “yes” as marijuana users. They also required the participants to state the age when they first used marijuana. It is reported that the study authors subtracted this from the reported age of the participant’s to ascertain the duration of marijuana use.
In addition, the researchers merged the information obtained from marijuana use with mortality data from the National Centre for Health Statistics in 2011. They further estimated the relationship between marijuana use, duration of use, and death from hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, and heart disease. The researchers also considered cigarette use, age, sex, and ethnicity.
Interestingly, it was found that death from hypertension resulted from several causes including hypertensive renal disease and primary hypertension. It is reported that among the 1,213 participants involved in the study, 34 percent reported that they neither use marijuana nor cigarettes, 21 percent reported using only marijuana, and 20 percent of participant used marijuana and smoked cigarettes.
While only 16 percent reported that they used marijuana and were past-smokers, 5 percent were past-smokers and only 4 percent smoked cigarettes. The researchers stated that the average duration of marijuana use was 11.5 years. They also found that participant’s who use marijuana had a higher risk of dying from hypertension. It is reported that they have a 3.42 times greater risk of dying from hypertension and a 1.04 higher risk every year of use compared to non-marijuana users.
However, they found no relationship between the use of marijuana and death from cerebrovascular disease or heart disease. But the researcher noted that that the cardiovascular risk associated with the use of marijuana is greater compared to the cardiovascular risk established for cigarette smoking. The findings of the study were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.1.