Marijuana use and cardiovascular complications have been noted by medical scientists in France. Many still believe marijuana to be virtually harmless.
Marijuana linked to heart problems
Originally published: April 26, 2014 9:07 PM
Updated: April 26, 2014 9:48 PM
By DELTHIA RICKS firstname.lastname@example.org
The new research arrives as the debate sharpens in Albany and lawmakers fight over whether New York should become the 21st state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is opposed to a broad medical marijuana program despite an increasing number of legislators here — and in other states — who support such a plan. They are joined by advocates for patients with cancer, epilepsy and a wide range of other devastating disorders.
Popular wisdom has long held that marijuana is good medicine, but studies are revealing a gloomier side to the drug.
“We identified several remarkable cases of cardiovascular complications as the reasons for hospital admission of young marijuana users,” Dr. Émilie Jouanjus, of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse in France, said in a statement last week.
Jouanjus and colleagues discovered in a study group of 1,979 adults who had a history of marijuana use, most of them men who ranged in age from their 20s through early 50s, that nearly 2 percent had heart complications. The average age of patients was 34.
For instance, 20 users suffered heart attacks; 10 had peripheral vascular disease, marked by damage to blood vessels in the limbs. Three had damage to arteries that supply blood to the brain. Nine patients, the study said, died of cardiovascular complications.
While heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications are found frequently in large populations everywhere, these cases were unique, Jouanjus said, because the people were, for the most part, quite young.