New Link Between Cannabis Use And Heart Attacks In Younger Adults

New Link Between Cannabis Use And Heart Attacks In Younger Adults

A study led by Toronto researchers suggests recent cannabis use is associated with a higher risk of heart attack in younger adults, with a stronger association among frequent users. The research published Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, finds while risk of heart attack among young cannabis users is low overall, those younger than 45 were nearly twice as likely to have had a heart attack than non-users.

Researchers looked at data from a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey that included more than 33-thousand adults aged 18 to 44, with 17 per cent of them reporting cannabis use in the past 30 days. Heart attacks were reported in 1.3 per cent of cannabis users, compared to 0.8 per cent of non-users. The study examined frequent cannabis use, defined as four or more times over the last 30 days _ and how it was being consumed in younger adults, who otherwise weren’t high risk for heart attacks because of their age. A history of heart attacks was associated with more frequent cannabis use, while less frequent cannabis use was associated with “elevated, albeit nonsignificant” risk. The cross-sectional study found the association between cannabis use and heart attacks was consistent across different forms of consumption, including smoking, vaping and eating edibles.

The study found cannabis users were also more likely to be male, smoke cigarettes, use e-cigarettes and be heavy alcohol drinkers, which may also contribute to their risk of heart attack. Data from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health published in January 2021 suggested half of cannabis users increased consumption during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with those younger than 50 years old using more frequently than older age groups.

The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: Scott Fox: @ScottFoxonair

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