Millions of Cardiovascular Patients Continue to Use Marijuana Even After Being Diagnosed 

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Photo of dry medical marijuana buds with shallow DOF

Marijuana is a derivative of dried flowers of Cannabis sativa. The marijuana plant contains many chemicals known as cannabinoids and each chemical affects the body differently. Today many states have permitted the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana making several products of marijuana available for commercial use.

A new study conducted by a team of Brigham and Women’s report that about two million adults with cardiovascular disease used marijuana and some are currently using marijuana. The use of marijuana can cause a variety of cardiovascular risks like arrhythmia, stroke, and the diseases that make the heart muscles not to pump accurately. The marijuana use by the cardiology patients can interfere with the other medicines that are prescribed to them.

This study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The first author of this study, Mithiah Vaduganathan, a cardiologist from Brigham finds that the improvements were seen in cardiovascular health in the patients who quit the use of cigarette smoking. But today the use of marijuana is increasing day by day. In the U.S the marijuana users are found more than cigarette smokers.

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The U.S Drug Enforcement Agency classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug that it can’t be used even in the research work without the legal approvals through federal agencies and local state. Each state legalizes the use and clinical trials of marijuana because the effects of marijuana are not practicable for health. To study the effects of marijuana real-world data can be used.

Both Ersilia M. DeFilippis, a cardiology fellow at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Vaduganathan collected data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to calculate the approximate use of marijuana in the patients with cardiovascular disease. From this survey, the researchers found that two million marijuana user adults had cardiovascular disease.

Vaduganathan and DeFilippis listed the compounds and components present in the marijuana can affect the heart and the other tissues and provided the studies that suggest the relationship between the marijuana and the heart conditions like in arrhythmias the marijuana use is linked with abnormal heart rhythms, in coronary artery disease heart rate and blood pressure accelerates due to cannabis inhalation, smoking-related cardio-toxicity is due to the cardiotoxic chemicals found in both cigarettes and marijuana smoke.

By conducting surveys it was found that cerebrovascular disease is found in marijuana smokers three times more than cigarette smokers because of marijuana use.

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The authors suggest the marijuana users consult the pharmacists and recommend the physicians to inquire about their patients about the use of marijuana. The marijuana users should also consult the cardiovascular specialists and should have open discussions with cardiovascular specialists.

This study is helpful in a way that the people who smoke marijuana with heart disease can develop chest pain more quickly and the heart attack risks are higher in marijuana smokers. The patients should limit or quit the use of marijuana especially those who are at a high risk of cardiovascular disease. The scientists should do more research work to give more recommendations for patient care.

 

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