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Association of Marijuana Use and Cardiovascular Disease: A Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Data Analysis of 133,706 US Adults

Published:November 08, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2020.10.019

      Abstract

      Background

      Marijuana is the most commonly used psychoactive drug, while its effects on cardiovascular health are not well known and remain a subject of interest.

      Methods

      We used the pooled 2016-2018 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to perform a cross-sectional analysis evaluating the association of marijuana and cardiovascular disease among US adults who never smoked cigarettes.

      Results

      Among US adults ages 18-74 years, when compared with nonusers, frequent marijuana use was associated with 88% higher odds of myocardial infarction or coronary artery disease (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15-3.08), and 81% higher odds of stroke (aOR 1.81; 95% CI, 1.14-2.89). Among the premature cardiovascular disease group, frequent marijuana users had 2.3 times higher odds of myocardial infarction or coronary artery disease (aOR 2.27; 95% CI, 1.20-4.30), and 1.9 times higher odds of stroke (aOR 1.92; 95% CI, 1.07-3.43). In terms of the modality of marijuana use, frequent marijuana smoking had 2.1 times higher odds of myocardial infarction or coronary artery disease (aOR 2.07; 95% CI, 1.21-3.56), and 1.8 times higher odds of stroke (aOR 1.84; 95% CI, 1.09-3.10). A similar association was observed in the premature cardiovascular disease group who smoked marijuana (aOR [for myocardial infarction or coronary artery disease] 2.64; 95% CI, 1.37-5.09; aOR [for stroke] 2.00; 95% CI, 1.05-3.79). No association was observed between marijuana use in any form other than smoking and cardiovascular disease, across all age groups.

      Conclusion

      Frequent marijuana smoking is associated with significantly higher odds of stroke and myocardial infarction or coronary artery disease, with a possible role in premature cardiovascular disease.

      Keywords

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