April 24th, 2014

Study Details Cardiovascular Events in Cannabis Users

One quarter of cardiovascular events among young cannabis users might be fatal, according to a small study in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers examined 35 cardiovascular events (1.8% of roughly 2000 adverse events) in cannabis users reported to the French Addictovigilance Network from 2006 to 2010. Nearly half the patients reported using cannabis at least 10 times in the past 30 days, 17% at least once in the past 30 days, and 37% at least once in the past year. Patients’ average age was 34, and most patients were male. The majority of events were acute coronary syndromes or peripheral arteriopathies. Overall, 25% of patients died.

The authors say their findings “indicate cannabis as a possible risk factor for cardiovascular disease in young adults”; however, they note that “events were too few to assess whether [they] were actually due to cannabis use.” Asked to comment, Harlan Krumholz, editor-in-chief of NEJM Journal Watch Cardiology, said the study “should be considered highly preliminary,” given its inability to evaluate causality.

Originally published in Physician’s First Watch

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