By: Diane Bernard, Public News Service
ARLINGTON, Va. – Young people who use marijuana frequently are more than twice as likely to have a stroke compared with those who don’t use the drug at all, according to a new study.
The study to be published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke is one of the first to specifically focus on the risk of stroke in cannabis users younger than age 45.
A recent second study found a link between marijuana use and an increased risk of heart rhythm problems in young adults.
Even though the studies are observational, they still are valuable because not much scientific information exists on health risks and cannabis use, according to Dr. Robert Harrington, president of the American Heart Association.
“As we see that states are increasingly legalizing use of marijuana, in part because of assumed health benefits, we at the AHA feel that it’s important that those health benefits actually be confirmed,” he states.
Researchers found that young people who used marijuana more than 10 days a month, but who did not use tobacco products, were nearly two and a half times more likely to have a stroke than people who did not use marijuana.
The heart study found that young people between ages 15 and 34 who were diagnosed with cannabis use disorder, which is similar to alcoholism, had a 50% greater risk of being hospitalized for heart rhythm problems compared with non-users.
Researchers say cannabis use disorder is more common among white men ages 45 to 54.
However, in the study, young African-American men between 15 and 24 who frequently used marijuana had the greatest risk of being hospitalized for arrhythmia, according to Dr. Reginald Robinson, a cardiologist in Washington.
He says tainted pot could play a role.
“If someone’s buying marijuana off the street, there’s no way of determining whether it’s laced with PCP or cocaine or K2 or any other stimulant,” he points out.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, according to the 2018 National Survey of Drug Use and Health put out by the federal government. The survey shows its use is more prevalent among men than women.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.
To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II