BREAKING NEWS PG&E announces possible weekend Public Safety Power Shutoff for three counties Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Bear Fire: More evacuation orders reduced to warnings Full Story
SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts

Using weed regularly raises the risk of heart problems for young people, studies find

Younger people with cannabis use disorder are at an increased risk of heart rhythm problems, according to a new presentation at the American Heart Associatio...

Posted: Nov 11, 2019 2:09 PM

Younger people with cannabis use disorder are at an increased risk of heart rhythm problems, according to a new presentation at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. A second presentation says that young people who use weed frequently are at a higher risk for stroke.

The first presentation found that a young person diagnosed with a cannabis use disorder had a 47% to 52% greater risk of being hospitalized for an arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, if they regularly used weed.

Heart rhythm problems occur when the electrical impulses that make your heart beat in time don't work quite right -- making your heart beat too fast or too slow, or irregularly. This isn't just a disconcerting feeling; it can be deadly. A problem with the heart's rhythm can also lead to a stroke or heart failure.

In the presentation, scientists noticed the connection between weed and heart problems by looking at data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, the largest publicly available all-payer inpatient health care database in the US that gives national estimates of hospital stays.

In that data, 2.6% of patients hospitalized for a heart arrhythmia were regular cannabis users. These patients tended to be younger, between the ages of 15 and 24, male and black.

Adjusting for other factors, 15- to 24-year-old weed users had 1.28 times higher odds of having to go to the hospital for this heart problem and 25- to 34-year-olds faced 1.52 times higher odds.

"The effects of using cannabis are seen within 15 minutes and last for around three hours. At lower doses, it is linked to a rapid heartbeat. At higher doses, it is linked to a too-slow heartbeat," Dr. Rikinkumar S. Patel, resident physician in the department of psychiatry at the Griffin Memorial Hospital in Norman, Oklahoma, said in a press release.

"The risk of cannabis use linked to arrhythmia in young people is a major concern, and physicians should ask patients hospitalized with arrhythmias about their use of cannabis and other substances because they could be triggering their arrhythmias."

In the other presentation, researches noted that young people who use cannabis more than 10 days a month were nearly 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke, compared to people who didn't use the drug. For those who frequently used cannabis and also also smoked cigarettes or used e-cigarettes, the risk was even higher. They were three times more likely to have a stroke, compared to people who did not smoke or use e-cigarettes and weed.

For that study, researchers looked at data from 43,000 adults who were a part of the behavioral risk factor surveillance system between 2016 and 2017. The participants were between the age of 18 to 44, and 14% said they had used cannabis in the last 30 days. Those who said they used the drug were typically younger, male, and Hispanic or African American.

This was an observational study and did not look at what might cause the increased risk. But authors hope doctors will take the information into account when they talk to their patients.

"Physicians should ask patients if they use cannabis and counsel them about its potential stroke risk as part of regular doctor visits," co-author Tarang Parekh, a health policy research at George Mason University, said in a statement.

This research is consistent with some other studies and builds on what scientists already know about the way in which cannabinoids interact with the heart. Earlier research has shown that using cannabinoids can raise a person's resting heart rate and dilate their blood vessels, making the heart pump much harder. It's also known that the risk of a heart attack is much higher in the hour after someone smokes weed, if the person already has an underlying heart condition. In some studies, cannabis use has been found to be associated with stroke and myocardial infarction.

With the legalization of weed in several states, researchers said they hope more scientists will look into any potential health risks as the use of the drug becomes more acceptable.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 796436

Reported Deaths: 15291
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2633336423
Riverside576951173
San Bernardino53121908
Orange525381176
San Diego45425767
Kern31647357
Fresno27944362
Sacramento21800393
Alameda20839395
Santa Clara20648300
San Joaquin20060434
Stanislaus16425342
Contra Costa16156202
Tulare15782257
Ventura12507146
Imperial11658317
San Francisco1090199
San Mateo9664144
Monterey964570
Santa Barbara8952111
Merced8803140
Kings754477
Sonoma7225120
Marin6620114
Solano623260
Madera442465
Placer352343
San Luis Obispo345327
Butte277640
Yolo277355
Santa Cruz22838
Sutter168610
Napa165213
San Benito131411
Yuba11337
El Dorado10784
Mendocino88718
Shasta75114
Lassen7360
Glenn5683
Tehama5294
Nevada5256
Colusa5226
Lake51611
Humboldt4906
Calaveras31414
Amador28716
Tuolumne2264
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 75°
Oroville
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 74°
Paradise
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 75°
Chester
49° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 49°
Red Bluff
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 70°
Willows
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 75°
A weak disturbance passed over northern California early this morning, but as expected, it only brought some gusty wind, a few clouds, slightly cooler weather, and no rain. Much bigger changes to our weather will occur this weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events