Marijuana Use May Raise the Risk of Serious Heart Conditions


At a time when legal access to marijuana is becoming more common, two new studies presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association suggest that this drug may negatively impact heart health.

One study of more than 150,000 adults found an association between daily marijuana use and a 34 percent higher risk of heart failure, in part because of higher likelihood of coronary artery disease. Another study, of more than 10 million older adults, linked marijuana use to a 20 percent higher risk of events like heart attacks and strokes during hospital stays.

“When I interact with patients, they always tell me, ‘Well, it’s natural, so it must be safe.’ Well, that’s very far from the truth,” says Robert Page II, PharmD, a professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado in Aurora and the lead author of an AHA scientific statement on marijuana use released in 2020.

Marijuana Affects Blood Pressure and Heart Disease Risk

The reality is that people need to think of marijuana as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease events like heart failure, heart attacks, and strokes, says Dr. Page, who wasn’t involved in either of the new studies.


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