Chicago, IL: Heart attack patients with a history of cannabis use are less likely to die during hospitalization, according to data presented this month at the 2016 meeting of the American College of Cardiology.
Investigators from the University of Colorado compared the hospital records of over 3,800 heart-attack patients who acknowledged having consumed cannabis or had tested positive for it to those of over 1.2 million similarly matched controls.
Marijuana-positive patients possessed a lower mortality risk during hospitalization and were at lower risk for intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) placement compared to controls. Authors did not speculate as to why cannabis use may be linked to improved short-term survival rates, and did not rule out the possibility that the association may be due to other cofounding variables.
Cannabis' impact on cardiovascular health is not well understood. Separate data indicates that cannabis may temporarily increase blood pressure, particularly in naïve subjects, and that it may be linked to the increased production of a specific protein associated with the risk of heart attack or stroke. Cannabis use is not associated with increased mortality risk in subjects with a history of coronary disease, but it may be associated with poorer outcomes in certain types of stroke patients.
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