Connect with us

Health

Those with heart concerns warned over cannabis use

People with heart problems may be more at risk from cannabis use.

Published

on

heart concept
Those with heart problems may be more at risk from cannabis use
Listen to this article

People with heart rhythm disorders may be more at risk and should “be careful” when using cannabis, warn researchers.

A study of 2.4 million hospitalised cannabis users has found that those with an arrhythmia were 4.5 times more likely to die while in hospital than those without.

The research is presented at EHRA 2021, an online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

There is limited knowledge about safety of cannabis in people with cardiac arrhythmias.

The study examined the burden of arrhythmias in drug users admitted to hospital, and compared length of hospital stay and deaths in hospital between those with and without an arrhythmia.

Researchers used the National Inpatient Sample database, which covers 97 percent of the US population. The study included 2,457,544 adult cannabis users admitted to hospital in 2016 to 2018. Of those, 187,825 (7.6 percent) patients had an arrhythmia. Atrial fibrillation was the most common, followed by abnormally slow heart rate and abnormally fast heart rate.

Patients in arrhythmia group were older: the average age was 50.5 years compared to 38.3 years for those without an arrhythmia. Those with arrhythmias also had more co-existing health conditions.

The researchers compared deaths between the two groups after adjusting for factors that could influence the relationship including age, sex, race, income, diabetes, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, obesity, and hospital location.

Cannabis users with an arrhythmia had a 4.5 times higher odds of in-hospital mortality compared to those without an arrhythmia. Patients with an arrhythmia had a longer length of hospital stay (5.7 days) compared to those without (5.1 days).

“People should be aware of this devastating outcome and be careful when using cannabis if they have a concomitant heart problem,” said study author Dr. Sittinun Thangjui of Bassett Healthcare Network, Cooperstown, US.

“Our study highlights that heart rhythm disorders may be a warning sign for an increased risk of death in people who use cannabis.

“More studies are needed to confirm our results. In the meantime, it seems sensible to screen these patients for arrhythmias if they present to hospital so that those with a heart rhythm problem can be closely monitored.”

[activecampaign form=33]

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health.Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained.She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa.Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email sarah@handwmedia.co.uk / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag

Trending