Marijuana and Cocaine Use in Young MI Patients Linked to Mortality Risks
Cannabis will be legal to sell in Massachusetts next month. A new statewide study examines cocaine and marijuana use in patients presenting with MI.
One in 10 patients age 50 or younger at the time of first MI have a recent history of cocaine and/or marijuana use, and individuals with this history have worse long-term survival than nonusers, new data show. Given the increasing legalization and use of marijuana, the researchers say more efforts are needed to identify users and convey the seriousness of the cardiovascular risks involved.
“There’s been a lot of data for a long time that cocaine is bad for the heart in various ways and that it is associated with increased mortality, but there is much less data available about marijuana despite its increasing use in the population,” said Ersilia M. DeFilippis, MD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA), in an interview with TCTMD.
DeFilippis added that the new study is important since so many of the traditional risk factors for MI do not apply to younger patients, making it necessary to delve deeper into the potential causes of their cardiovascular disease and identify better ways of risk stratifying them. But lack of guidance for clinicians on what to tell patients and how to assess their substance abuse is an equally significant problem, she said.
All-Cause Death Risk Highest for Marijuana Users
In the study, published online May 30, 2018, ahead of print in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, lead investigators DeFilippis and colleague Avinainder Singh, MBBS (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School), looked at the records of 2,097 patients age 50 or younger treated for a first MI at two academic hospitals in Massachusetts between 2000 and 2016. Massachusetts voted to legalize marijuana use in 2016.