Study: History Of Cannabis Use Associated With Increased Survival Rates Among Heart Attack Patients

COLORADO: Heart attack patients with a history of marijuana use are less likely to die during hospitalization as compared to those who test negative for the substance, according to data published in the journal PLOS One.

Investigators with the University of Colorado compared the hospital records of over 3,800 heart-attack patients who acknowledged having consumed cannabis or had tested positive for it to those of over 1.2 million similarly matched controls. They found that cannabis use was not associated with adverse short-term health outcomes, after controlling for potential confounders such as concomitant tobacco use. On average, patients with a history of cannabis use were younger than non-users.

Authors reported: “[M]arijuana-using patients were significantly less likely to die (OR 0.79), experience shock (OR 0.74), or require an IABP (intra-aortic balloon pump) post AMI (acute myocardial infarction) than patients with no reported marijuana use. These results suggest that, contrary to our hypothesis, marijuana use was not associated with increased risk of adverse short-term outcomes following AMI.”

They concluded, [T]hese findings suggest that additional study is warranted to further investigate these discoveries and to identify potential mechanisms by which marijuana is associated with improved short-term outcomes following AMI.”

Separate studies have similarly identified an association between marijuana use and decreased in-hospital mortality in trauma patientsthose undergoing orthopedic surgeries, patients with traumatic brain injuries, and heart failure patients.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: Full text of the study, “Marijuana use and short-term outcomes in patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction,” appears in PLOS One.

Pot Smokers Show Less Inflammation

NEW YORK:  People who smoke marijuana may have lower levels of inflammation compared with people who have never smoked it, according to new research on one marker of inflammation.

In the study, researchers examined data from more than 9,000 people on their history of marijuana use and their levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), one marker of inflammation that is frequently linked with people’s risk of heart disease.

About 40 percent of the people in the study said they had never smoked marijuana, while 48 percent reported having smoked the drug at least once in their lifetimes, but not in the past 30 days. About 12 percent (1115) said they smoked marijuana recently, or at least once in the past 30 days. The researchers found that the people who smoked in the last month had lower CRP levels than those who had never smoked the drug.