Skip to content

Daily Marijuana Use Raises Heart Failure Risk By Over A Third, New Studies Find

Studies from MedStar Health and Nazareth Hospital highlight cardiovascular dangers of cannabis

Smoking marijuana increases risk of heart failure by more than a third new studies suggest.

Daily use of marijuana raised the risk of heart failure by 34 percent in a new study from MedStar Health in Baltimore.

Lead author Dr. Yakubu Bene-Alhasan said: “Marijuana use isn’t without its health concerns, and our study provides more data linking its use to cardiovascular conditions.

Smoking marijuana increases risk of heart failure by more than a third new studies suggest. HARRISON HAINES/PEXELS

“Prior research shows links between marijuana use and cardiovascular disease like coronary artery disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation, which is known to cause heart failure.

“Our results should encourage more researchers to study the use of marijuana to better understand its health implications, especially on cardiovascular risk.”

They studied 156,999 people with an average age of 54 across four years who were all free from heart failure.

By the end, two percent (2,958) had developed heart failure.

The results held up regardless of age, sex at birth or smoking history though the researchers admitted they did not know whether the cannabis was eaten or smoked.

In a secondary analysis, when the team looked at coronary artery disease, the risk of heart failure dropped from 34 percent to 27 percent, suggesting that coronary artery disease is a pathway through which daily marijuana use may lead to heart failure.

A second study looked at data from 28,535 cannabis users with existing heart risk factors such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.


Smoking marijuana increases risk of heart failure by more than a third new studies suggest. HARRISON HAINES/PEXELS

They found that 20 percent had an increased chance of having a major heart or brain event when hospitalized compared to the group who did not use cannabis.

Cannabis users also had a higher rate of heart attacks.

Lead author of that study, Dr Avilash Mondal, of Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia said: “Since 2015, cannabis use in the US has almost doubled, and it is increasing in older adults, therefore, understanding the potential increased cardiovascular risk from cannabis use is important.

“We must be mindful about major heart and stroke events in older adults with cannabis use disorder.

“At this point, we need more studies to understand the long-term effects of cannabis use.”

“The main public message is to be more aware of the increased risks and open the lines of communication so that cannabis use is acknowledged and considered.”

Combined, the studies show that regular marijuana use can significantly damage heart and brain health.

Professor Robert Page, American Heart Association volunteer expert said: “The latest research about cannabis use indicates that smoking and inhaling cannabis increases concentrations of blood carboxyhemoglobin (carbon monoxide), tar (partly burned combustible matter) similar to the effects of inhaling a tobacco cigarette, both of which have been linked to heart muscle disease, chest pain, heart rhythm disturbances, heart attacks and other serious conditions,

“Together with the results of these two research studies, the cardiovascular risks of cannabis use are becoming clearer and should be carefully considered and monitored by health care professionals and the public.”

Both studies were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”

Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.

Check out our free email newsletters

Recommended from our partners