November 26, 2021

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Young adults who frequently use marijuana twice as likely to have heart attack

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07.09.2021

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Disclosures: Healio Primary Care was unable to confirm any relevant financial information at the time of publication.

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A cross-sectional study showed that young adults who recently used cannabis were more likely to have a history of myocardial infarction than those who did not use the substance.

“Although heavy cannabis use has been reported to induce acute myocardial infarction, current evidence is limited to case-control studies that are prone to bias and studies that rely solely on administrative data,” wrote the researchers at the Canadian Medical Association Journal. “It is also limited in its definition of exposure as these studies examine patients with heavy cannabis use (cannabis abuse or cannabis use disorder).”

Reference: Ladha KS, et al. CMAJ. 2021; doi: doi: 10.1503 / cmaj.202392.

They analyzed data from 33,173 adults aged 18 to 44 who completed the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey in 2017 and 2018. Of the total of 4,610 said they had consumed cannabis at least once in the last 30 days. The BRFSS was selected because it is “the best source available to provide generalizable and nationally representative evidence,” said Nikhil Mistry, a graduate student at the University of Toronto, in a press release.

Mistry and colleagues reported that history of myocardial infarction was more common among the youngest cannabis users (1.3% vs. 0.8%; adjusted OR = 2.07; 95% CI, 1.12-3.82). Those who reported using cannabis more than four times a month were also more likely to have had myocardial infarction (aOR = 2.31; 95% CI 1.18-4.5), as were those who reported their primary method of cannabis use smoking was (aOR = 2.01; 95% CI, 1.02-3.98).

The association remained significant when the data were adjusted for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia (aOR = 3.54; 95% CI 1.13-11.05) but not for the negative control results for skin cancer (aOR = 1.02; 95% CI, 0.59-1.75) and blindness (aOR = 0.98; 95% CI 0.71-1.35), “which suggests limited residual confusion in our model,” the researchers wrote .

“Doctors and other clinicians need to be aware of this potentially important relationship,” said David Mazer, MD, study co-author and clinical scientist at Unity Health Toronto, in the press release. “Cannabis use should be considered when assessing cardiovascular risk. When making decisions about cannabis use, patients and clinicians should consider the associated benefits and risks in the context of their own health risk factors and behaviors. ”

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