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Stroke rates among pot users



FRIDAY, October 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) – With the increasing use of marijuana and the legalization of the drug by Canada later this week, a new study leading to an increased risk of stroke could lead to a break ,

The risk of stroke could increase by 15 percent and it could jump 29 percent for ischemic stroke – the most common type, said Head Investigator Dr. Krupa Patel. She is a researcher at the Avalon University School of Medicine at Willemstad, Curacao.

Patel warned that the study can not prove that the use of marijuana causes strokes, except that the two are associated.

"We can not determine causality, but what we can say is that recreational marijuana users have a higher risk of stroke," she said.

In addition, the researchers do not know whether the risk of smoking is linked to marijuana or ingesting other ways, and whether it depends on the amount of medicine used or whether it is mixed with marijuana due to other psychoactive ingredients.

Patel said that the risk of chronic diseases of marijuana users who had strokes can be exacerbated. Diabetes or obesity.

Also, researchers could not see from the data whether marijuana users used other drugs such as cocaine or smoked tobacco, she said.

More Stroke Seizures Occur for Marijuana Consumers than Non-Consumers t The question of what increases the risk is:

"At this point, we can only say that there is an increased risk," said Patel.

The best way to find out if marijuana is actually having an increase in stroke is in a clinical trial, Dr. Thalia Field, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

"It's too early to say that this is the cause," she said. "It has to be confirmed in other studies."

In the study, Patel and her colleagues found that among more than 2.3 million American marijuana recreational users admitted to hospital, the risk of stroke increased, compared to people who took strokes between 201

0 and 2014

Patients were steadily increasing among marijuana users, although the rate of stroke remained unchanged.

Among the marijuana users in the study, more than 32,000 had a stroke – including nearly 19,500 who suffered an ischemic stroke. Ischemic strokes occur when a blood clot blocks blood vessels in the brain.

For five years, the rate of all strokes in marijuana users increased from 1.3 to 1.5 percent, and the rate of ischemic stroke increased from 0.7 to 0.9 percent. The researchers found

The increase in strokes among marijuana users was across all age groups – for people in their teens to those in their eighties, Patel said. In addition, the cost of care for these patients increased from $ 71,000 to $ 92,000 between 2010 and 2014.

The results should be presented on Friday at the World Stroke Congress in Montreal. Such research is considered provisional until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Paul Armentano, deputy director of the marijuana advocacy group NORML, said, "This finding contradicts other population-based studies in which cannabis could not be identified as an independent risk factor for stroke in younger volunteers."

However, NORML acknowledges that As data develop on this topic and cannabis smoke can cause a cardiovascular reaction, he added.

People with a history of heart disease or stroke may be at an increased risk for unwanted side effects of marijuana, especially smoked cannabis, Armentano confirmed.

"As with any drug, people should consult their doctor before they decide. The medical use of cannabis is safe and appropriate," he said.

Further information

Visit the National Stroke Association for more on strokes.

SOURCES: Krupa Patel, MD, research physician, Avalon University School of Medicine, Willemstad, Curacao; Paul Armentano, Deputy Director, NORML; Thalia Field, M.D., Assistant Professor, Neurology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Oct 19, 2018, Presentation, World Stroke Congress, Montreal


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