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Marijuana use weakens heart muscle

Young, male, healthy pot smokers at high risk of stress cardiomyopathy

By
6:29pm, November 14, 2016
guy lighting joint

DOUBLE TROUBLE  Marijuana use may double the risk of developing stress cardiomyopathy, a temporary weakening of the tip of the heart.

NEW ORLEANS — Marijuana use is associated with an almost doubled risk of developing stress cardiomyopathy, a sudden life-threatening weakening of the heart muscle, according to a new study. Cannabis fans may find the results surprising, since two-thirds believe the drug has no lasting health effects. But as more states approve recreational use, scientists say there’s a renewed urgency to learn about the drug’s effects.

An estimated 22 million Americans — including 38 percent of college students — say they regularly use marijuana. Previous research has raised cardiovascular concerns: The drug has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack immediately after use, and a 2016 study in rodents found that one minute of exposure to marijuana smoke impairs the heart’s inner lining for 90 minutes, longer than tobacco’s effect.

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