OCT 05, 2023 1:55 PM PDT

Risk on the Rise: First-Time Cardiovascular Events 60% Higher in Adults with Cannabis Use Disorder

A recent study published in Addiction examines the potential risk levels between cannabis use disorder (CUD) and developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including cardiac dysrhythmias, stroke, and a heart attack. This study was conducted by collaborative team of researchers between the United States and Canada and holds the potential to help medical professionals, scientists, and the public better understand the long-term health effects of CUD, which is estimated to affect approximately 10 percent of adult cannabis users.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cohort study of 59,528 individuals obtained from five administrative health databases in Alberta, Canada between January 2012 and December 2019 to determine a link between CUD and CVD issues. The team found that 721 (2.4 percent) of individuals with CUD suffered a CVD, whereas 458 (1.5 percent) of individuals with were part of the unexposed group.

It was also found that individuals with CUD were at a 60 percent greater risk of experiencing a CVD than those without CUD. The team noted the reason for this greater risk is potentially due to those individuals considered themselves healthy and believed they weren’t at risk for a CVD.

Dr. Anees Bahji, who is part of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Calgary and lead author of the study said: "Our study doesn’t provide enough information to say that cannabis use disorder causes adverse cardiovascular disease events, but we can go so far as to say that Canadians with cannabis use disorder appear to have a much higher risk of cardiovascular disease than people without the disorder.”

The purpose of this study was to provide additional insights and discussion pertaining to the health consequences of CUD and its potential connections to CVD for both the short- and long-term.

What new discoveries will researchers make pertaining to the risks of CUD in the coming years and decades? Only time will tell, and this is why we science!

As always, keep doing science & keep looking up!

Sources: Addiction, Centers for Disease Control and Medicine, National Library of Medicine, EurekAlert!

About the Author
Master's (MA/MS/Other)
Laurence Tognetti is a six-year USAF Veteran who earned both a BSc and MSc from the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. Laurence is extremely passionate about outer space and science communication, and is the author of “Outer Solar System Moons: Your Personal 3D Journey”.
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