NZ Herald 24 April 2014
Young adults who smoke marijuana may be at risk for serious or even fatal heart problems, according to a study by French researchers.
The findings in the Journal of the American Heart Association raises new concerns about the safety of marijuana, just as many parts of the world are relaxing laws on its use and medicinal marijuana is gaining popularity for treating certain health conditions.
The risk of heart complications appeared small in the study, which included nearly 2,000 people who sought medical attention for complications related to marijuana from 2006 to 2010.
Of those, two per cent, or 35 people, had heart attacks or circulation problems related to arteries in the brain and limbs.
Of greater concern was the high death rate. One in four of the patients with cardiovascular complications died, said the researchers.
The analysis also found that the percentage of reported cardiovascular complications more than tripled from 2006 to 2010.