Study: History Of Cannabis Use Associated With Increased Survival Rates Among Heart Attack Patients

Aurora, CO: Heart attack patients with a history of marijuana use are less likely to die during hospitalization as compared to those who test negative for the substance, according to data published in the journal PLOS One.

Investigators with 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. They found that cannabis use was not associated with adverse short-term health outcomes, after controlling for potential confounders such as concomitant tobacco use. On average, patients with a history of cannabis use were younger than non-users.

Authors reported: “[M]arijuana-using patients were significantly less likely to die (OR 0.79), experience shock (OR 0.74), or require an IABP (intra-aortic balloon pump) post AMI (acute myocardial infarction) than patients with no reported marijuana use. These results suggest that, contrary to our hypothesis, marijuana use was not associated with increased risk of adverse short-term outcomes following AMI.”

They concluded, [T]hese findings suggest that additional study is warranted to further investigate these discoveries and to identify potential mechanisms by which marijuana is associated with improved short-term outcomes following AMI.”

Separate studies have similarly identified an association between marijuana use and decreased in-hospital mortality in trauma patients, those undergoing orthopedic surgeries, patients with traumatic brain injuries, and heart failure patients.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: Full text of the study, “Marijuana use and short-term outcomes in patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction,” appears in PLOS One.