Just when a well-known Internet celebrity in China was arrested for smoking marijuana, the American Heart Association happened to launch a research report, which stated that daily marijuana users will increase their risk of future heart failure by 34%.
According to a “CNN” report, the American Heart Association recently held a scientific meeting in Philadelphia, USA. During the meeting, the American Heart Association recommended that the public should avoid smoking or vaping any substance, including marijuana products, because it may cause damage to the heart, lungs and blood vessels.
Page, a professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said studies have found that both smoking and inhaling marijuana increase levels of carbon monoxide hemoglobin (carbon monoxide, a toxic gas) in the blood. ) and concentrations of tar (a partially burned combustible substance) similar to the effects of inhaling tobacco cigarettes, which have been linked to cardiomyopathy, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, heart attacks, and other serious conditions.
“People need to be honest about this, just like any other risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and understand the risks in detail,” Page said.
Marijuana abuse among U.S. elders
The report also mentioned that the problem of marijuana use among elderly Americans is becoming increasingly common. A 2020 study found that the number of people over 65 years old who smoked marijuana or consumed edibles doubled between 2015 and 2018. . A 2023 study also found that last-month alcohol and marijuana use increased by 450% among people over 65 between 2015 and 2019.
Although marijuana is not addictive, nearly one-third of marijuana users will eventually develop psychological dependence on marijuana use due to psychological factors. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when people experience loss of appetite, lack of appetite, irritability, restlessness, and difficulty sleeping after quitting marijuana, they are dependent on marijuana.
The relationship between cannabis and chronic disease
In addition to this, cannabis use has also been found to be directly linked to the worsening of many chronic diseases. One study tracked the medical records of 65-year-olds who were long-term users of marijuana (not mixed with tobacco) and had psychological dependence on marijuana.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Avilash Mondal, a resident physician at Philadelphia’s Nazarene Hospital, found that patients who were diagnosed with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol were significantly different from 10 million non-marijuana smokers. Compared with hospitalized elderly people, the 8,355 hospitalized elderly people who abused marijuana had a 20% higher risk of major heart and brain disease events during their hospitalization.
The study also found that high blood pressure (more than 130/80 mmHg) and high cholesterol are actually key predictors of whether cannabis users will develop major adverse cardiovascular events.
Page also said that many people know that using large amounts of marijuana in a short period of time can actually lower blood pressure. “But what is very interesting is that if you observe these people who use marijuana every day for a long time, you can clearly know that the use of marijuana In fact, it is related to an increase in blood pressure, which is also a risk factor for other cardiovascular diseases.”
The link between marijuana and heart failure
There is also a study that spent four years tracking the health of 160,000 adults with an average age of 54 to see whether marijuana poses a risk of heart failure. Researchers found that people who used marijuana daily had a 34% increased risk of heart failure compared with people who didn’t use marijuana at all.
According to the American Heart Association, the so-called heart failure does not mean that the heart has stopped working, but that the heart’s ability to pump oxygen-rich blood is not as good as it should be. As long as this is the case, it is heart failure.
The researchers also said that when it comes to the “use of marijuana” mentioned by the trackers, the researchers did not differentiate between the “methods of use” of marijuana (in addition to smoking marijuana, it can also be made into pastries and biscuits for consumption).
Another previous study reported that daily marijuana users increased their risk of coronary heart disease by one-third. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronary heart disease is caused by damage to the inner walls of the arteries that supply the heart, forming fatty plaques in the damaged parts of the arteries. In the long run, the blood vessel walls lose elasticity, become thicker, and the pipes become deformed. Narrow or even block blood vessels, preventing blood from flowing. Coronary heart disease is also the most common heart disease.
The study’s lead author, Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, a resident physician at Medstar Health in Baltimore, said there is a relationship between marijuana use and cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation. He also believes that the current research results actually encourage more researchers to do more research on cannabis use, so as to better understand the impact of cannabis on health.