A recent peer-reviewed study published Tuesday by the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows that young adults who use cannabis have twice the risk of having a heart attack.

The study was conducted by Canadian physicians using data collected through surveys conducted in 2017 and 2018 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of people between 18 and 44.

The research gives evidence supporting the connection between cannabis use and the risk of having a heart attack in young adults (aged 18-44) and warns that an increase in the drug’s use in an at-risk population can bring about cardiovascular problems.

Following the recent legalization of Cannabis in Canada and its decriminalization in some areas of the United States, there has been an increase in the availability and social acceptance of the drug, leading to a rise in its use, mainly among young adults.

Recently, the American Heart Association recommended against smoking or vaporizing any product containing cannabis due to its potential harm to cardiovascular health.

According to Global News, study co-author Dr. Karim Ladha of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto said, “Beyond the main finding that heart attacks were found to be more common in cannabis users, what we did find is that the more people use, the higher the risk.”

Ladha added that while the most well-known method of consumption is smoking, vaporization and edibles also increased the risk of cardiovascular attacks.

The study showed that the heaviest cannabis users are mainly single male cigarette smokers and heavy alcohol drinkers. 

This new study only reinforces the results of previous studies.

One of them is one conducted in 2019 and published by the Journal of Adolescent Health, which concluded the following:

“Our study demonstrates a higher prevalence and significant odds of AMI inpatients with cannabis use, along with the potential cost burdens because of severe morbidity and higher use of treatment modalities. Physicians need to familiarize themselves with rising use of cannabis and other substances in adolescent and younger population and the typical presentations of cannabis-induced myocardial infarction.”

In April of this year, a study from the University of Guelph suggested that cannabis use in young adults may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in the future, as arterial stiffness was higher among cannabis users, and heart function was lower in this group.

It should be noted that during the past year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a worrying increase in cannabis use in Canada.

According to a study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), published in January of this year, more than half of cannabis users increased their use during the first wave of the pandemic.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Tara Elton-Marshall of CAMH’s Mental Health Policy Research Institute, said, “We know that regular use of cannabis leads to greater health problems, addiction and other mental health disorders.” Hence “seeing a sustained increase in cannabis use during the first wave of the pandemic is a concern.”

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