Risks of Marijuana


Sara Miller, a staff writer at live science tells of the hazards of marijuana. She states that smoking pot is often considered safer than smoking cigarettes, but a new study suggests that marijuana use may increase a person's risk of death from high blood pressure.
Over the two-decade-long study period, marijuana users, whose level and frequency of smoking was not assessed in the study, had a more than threefold greater risk of dying from hypertension than non-users. This increase in risk was greater than that associated with cigarette smoking, the researchers said.
"Support for liberal marijuana use is partly due to claims that it is beneficial, and possibly not harmful, to health," lead study author Barbara Yankey, a doctoral student of epidemiology and biostatistics at Georgia State University, said in a statement. "However, there is little research on the impact of marijuana use on cardiovascular and mortality."
The risks associated with smoking cigarettes, on the other hand, are well established as linking heart disease deaths and cigarettes, for example, are "extensive," leading the researchers to hypothesize that smoking pot would be associated with a similar level of risks.
Using data from 2011 from the National Center for Health Statistics, the researchers were able to determine if any of the participants in the National Health and Nutrition Survey study had died during the study period.
Using the two data sets, the researchers estimated the associations between marijuana use and length of use with deaths from high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
At the end of the study period, 73 percent of the participants were still alive, the researchers found. Nearly 35 percent of them reported that they did not use marijuana or tobacco; 21 percent used only marijuana (no tobacco); 4 percent smoked cigarettes (no marijuana); 20 percent used both marijuana and tobacco; 16 percent used marijuana currently and smoked cigarettes


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Aprokomag: Risks of Marijuana
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