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Drugs: Still bad for you

Chronic marijuana use may increase a marker for heart disease

8:56am, May 13, 2008

Slowed reflexes, decreased libido, memory loss, the munchies. Add to that list another side effect of smoking marijuana — changes in blood chemistry that could increase the risk of heart disease.

Habitual marijuana use increases the blood levels of a protein that has been implicated in heart disease, according to new research in the May Molecular Psychiatry. Down the line, that could mean increased incidence of stroke and heart attack for frequent marijuana users.

The study looked at 18 chronic marijuana users and 24 matched volunteers who did not smoke weed. The heavy users, who were mostly in their early 20s, otherwise healthy and used no othe

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