Not Everyone Agreed The Findings Are Cause For Alarm, However.

Such use was associated with a much higher risk for stroke , heart failure, coronary artery disease and sudden cardiac death. Pot use was also tied to common heart disease risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, smoking and drinking, the researchers said. After adjusting for those risk factors, the researchers concluded that marijuana use was independently associated with a 26 percent increased risk of stroke and a 10 percent increased risk of heart failure. More research will be needed to understand the [reasons] behind this effect, Kalla said. Not everyone agreed the findings are cause for alarm, however. Paul Armentaro is deputy director of NORML, a marijuana advocacy group. He called the increase in heart risk, a relatively nominal one, and said the study is inconsistent with the findings of several other longitudinal studies finding that those who consume cannabis, but not tobacco, suffer no greater likelihood of adverse events compared to those with no history of use. NORML agrees that certain groups adolescents , pregnant or nursing mothers , people with a history of psychiatric illness, or those with a prior history of heart disease may want to avoid marijuana due to the potential effects on health. But others may want to talk the issue over with their doctors. As with any medication, patients should consult thoroughly with their physician before deciding whether the medical use of cannabis is safe and appropriate, Armentaro said.

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