HealthDay News — Cannabis use may raise an adult’s risk of stroke and heart failure, according to research being presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, to be held from March 17 to 19 in Washington, D.C.

Aditi Kalla, MD, a cardiologist at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues looked at 20 million health records of patients aged 18 to 55 who were discharged from one of more than a thousand hospitals across the United States in 2009 and 2010. Of those patients, 1.5% said they’d used cannabis. 

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Such use was associated with a much higher risk for stroke, heart failure, coronary artery disease, and sudden cardiac death. Cannabis use was also tied to common heart disease risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, and drinking, the researchers said. After adjusting for those risk factors, the researchers concluded that cannabis use was independently associated with a 26% increased risk of stroke and a 10% increased risk of heart failure.

“More research will be needed to understand the pathophysiology behind this effect,” Kalla said in a news release from the American College of Cardiology.

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