Marijuana use increases blood pressure-related death risk: Study

Marijuana use increases blood pressure-related death risk: Study

Marijuana users who smoke the controversial recreational drug face a three-fold greater risk of dying from high blood pressure or hypertension than non-users of the drug, according to a new study.

A team of American researchers conducted a retrospective follow-up research involving 1,213 individuals aged 20 or above who had participated in an ongoing National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey in 2005–2006.

The average duration of use of the drug, which is also called cannabis, was 11.5 years.

Results of the study showed marijuana users had a 3.42-times greater risk of death from high BP or hypertension as compared with non-users, and a 1.04 higher risk for each year of use.

Study co-leader Barbara Yankey, of the school of public health at Georgia State University, said, “Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen demand.”

A number of states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana and many more are moving toward it. Many other governments have decriminalized the use of the drug.

The alarming findings of the new study appeared in the August 9th edition of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.