Eku Oben, Mercer University College of Pharmacy
Marijuana was shown to increase heart rate and blood pressure by 20 to 100%.  However, it can cause hypotension in high doses or when taken orally.  Users 14-18 years old with heavy marijuana use (~56 g/month) performed worse on flexible thinking tests compared to controls with limited marijuana use (<7 g/month). When comparing marijuana users to non-marijuana users, the adjusted hazards ratio (HR) for hypertension mortality was 3.42 (95% CI: 1.2- 9.79) and for each year of marijuana use, was 1.04 (95% CI: 1- 1.07). The adjusted HR for heart disease mortality between the two groups was 1.09 (95% CI: 0.63 -1.88); and 1 (95% CI: 0.98-1.02) for each year of marijuana use. 
|Design||A mortality follow-up survey; N= 1213|
|Objective||To determine whether recreational marijuana is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality|
|Study Group||Marijuana users (n= 686); non-marijuana users (n= 527)|
|Methods||A cox proportional hazards regression analyses was used to estimate hazard ratios for hypertension, heart disease, and cerebrovascular mortality due to marijuana use.|
|Duration||2005 – 2011|
|Primary Outcome Measure||Increased cardiovascular mortalities|
|Results||Unadjusted and adjusted analysis showing hazard ratios for hypertension mortality among (a) marijuana users and (b) each year of marijuana use.
|Adverse Effects||Common: none reported|
|Serious: none reported|
|Percentage that discontinued due to adverse events: N/A|
|Study Author Conclusions||Using marijuana may increase the risk for hypertension mortality and cardiovascular adverse effects.|
The data from this study was representative of the overall population. However, it was self-reported by the participants, which may call to question its validity and seen as a limitation to the study. In addition, only 72.5% of participants were presumed to be alive during the time of the study, which could be another limitation of the study. Findings of this study support the evidence that marijuana use increases the risk of cardiovascular effects and hypertension mortality.
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