U.S Study Finds That Cannabis Users Are Three Times More Likely To Develop Peripheral Artery Disease!
: Cannabis or marijuana use becomes increasingly normalized across the United States, with nearly 50 million people reportedly using the substance at least once, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the urgency to understand its impact on human health grows exponentially.
One such concern that has recently come to light is the strong correlation between cannabis use and the development of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), as unveiled at the 2023 Scientific Sessions of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI).
Peripheral artery disease or PAD, is a condition that currently affects approximately 6.5 million people in the United States and is characterized by narrowed arteries that hinder blood flow to the extremities such as the arms and legs. If left unchecked, PAD can lead to severe health implications like loss of mobility, decreased quality of life, heart attack, stroke, and even death.
The global prevalence of PAD was 5.6% in 2015 and currently hovers between 7 to 8 percent!
The new study presented at the SCAI 2023 sessions sheds light on this under-explored area of cannabis research. Utilizing a vast pool of de-identified patient data sourced from the National Inpatient Samples (NIS) collected from 2016 to 2019, the study team, led by Dr Hirva Vyas from Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey-USA, stratified this data further to identify cannabis users diagnosed with peripheral artery disease (PAD) and those who underwent any lower extremity vascular intervention.
A comprehensive analysis of the data, involving over 30 million patients, revealed a significant finding. Among 623,768 cannabis users, 2,424 patients, representing 0.38% of the total, were also diagnosed with peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Furthermore, the statistical analysis indicated that cannabis users were more than three times likely to develop PAD compared to non-users.
Interestingly, the demographic breakdown of the patients indicated an average age of 37.4 years, an equal distribution across genders, a higher prevalence among the white population, and a tendency towards elective admissions.
However, the study team found no significant correlation between cannabis use and increased risk of mortality or need for percutaneous intervention.
Considering the upward trend of cannabis consumption in the United States, these findings provide crucial insights for both medical professionals and users. Dr Vyas emphasizes the importance of vigilance towards symptoms of peripheral artery disease (PAD) among cannabis users, including leg pain while walking, slowed or absent hair growth, and sensations of coldness in the leg. Early diagnosis and monitoring of PAD could significantly enhance the quality of life among this patient group, underscoring the critical need for regular check-ups and lifestyle modification counseling.
The increasing prevalence of cannabis use, coupled with emerging research linking it to various health
risks including peripheral artery disease (PAD), necessitates enhanced public health initiatives focused on education, disease screening, and early intervention, along with more Cannabis News
coverages highlighting the adverse effects of cannabis usage.
As cannabis legalization continues to spread, it's paramount that the public and healthcare providers alike stay informed of its potential health implications. After all, an educated society is a healthier one.
In Thailand, the soon to be formed government should take note of the various adverse effects of cannabis and quickly revoke its decriminalized status that was lobbied, advocated and pushed through by some ignorant individuals with no medical training.
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