Marijuana + High Blood Pressure = Greater Death Risk
People who smoke marijuana are three times more likely to die from high blood pressure than those who don't use the drug, according to a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Scientists at Georgia State University’s School of Public Health in Atlanta used information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in 2005-2006 to design a retrospective follow-up study examining the effects of pot on heart and brain health. First, they calculated study participants’ duration of marijuana use, then they combined the information with mortality data from the 2011 National Center for Health Statistics and estimated the effects of marijuana use on deaths from hypertension, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease (stroke, for example).
Of the of 1,213 study participants, 34 percent smoked neither marijuana nor cigarettes, 21 percent used only marijuana, 20 percent used marijuana and smoked cigarettes, 16 percent used marijuana and were past-smokers, 5 percent were former smokers, and 4 only smoked cigarettes. According to researchers, marijuana users had a 3.42 times higher risk of dying from hypertension than non-users and the risk increased 1.04 times for each year of marijuana use. They found no link between marijuana use and death from heart disease or cerebrovascular disease.