Marijuana use 'may be linked to heart muscle weakness'

14 November 2016

Active marijuana use may have an impact on heart health, a new study has indicated.

Presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, the research examined data from 33,343 people hospitalised with stress cardiomyopathy between 2003 and 2011 in the US, of whom 210 were also identified as marijuana users.

It was found that marijuana users were more likely to be younger males with fewer cardiovascular risk factors, including lower blood pressure and a reduced incidence of diabetes and high cholesterol.

However, despite these factors, marijuana users were significantly more likely to go into cardiac arrest during stress cardiomyopathy and to require an implanted defibrillator to detect and correct dangerously abnormal heart rhythms.

It was concluded that active marijuana use may double the risk of stress cardiomyopathy, which is an uncommon heart muscle malfunction that can mimic heart attack symptoms.

Dr Amitoj Singh, study co-author and chief cardiology fellow at St Luke's University Health Network in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, said: "If you are using marijuana and develop symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath, you should be evaluated by a healthcare provider to make sure you aren't having stress cardiomyopathy or another heart problem."

Posted by Philip Briggs


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