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Drugs and stroke risk: what damage do they cause?

“Our findings provide the first evidence utilising a longitudinal cohort to demonstrate that cannabis use predicts the future onset of AF”



A new study has displayed the links between certain types of drugs and stroke risk.

This report, that was published in the European heart journal analysed data of over 23 million adults that were treated in a Californian emergency department, outpatient surgery facility or hospital between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2015.

Among the drugs analysed was cannabis, cocaine, opiates and methamphetamine, all of which were found to cause an increase in “incidence of atrial fibrillation” (AFib).

This study displayed that there is a direct link between illegal drugs and stroke risk.

Creating higher risk

Those that used methamphetamine were found to be at an 86 per cent higher risk than the rest of the population in developing AFib.

Meanwhile, opiate users had a 74 per cent increased risk and cocaine users had a 61 per cent higher risk.

Despite that the risk for cannabis users not being the highest of the investigated drugs, the researchers say: “Our findings provide the first evidence utilising a longitudinal cohort to demonstrate that cannabis use predicts the future onset of AF, specifically that cannabis use is a risk factor for AF even after adjusting for conventional risk factors.”

The researchers also emphasised that:  “increasing prevalence of cannabis use, for both medical and recreational purposes, it is paramount to understand potential arrhythmogenic risks associated with this substance”.

UK against cannabis

The recreational use of cannabis in the UK has been a much debated topic for some time now.

Whilst some call for it to be made completely legal, backing the health benefits of the drug, for example its benefits towards mental health conditions such as anxiety, many feel tougher actions should be taken against those that use cannabis.

A group of police commissioners in the UK have called for cannabis to be upgraded to a class A drug.

Whilst speaking to The Telegraph, David Sidwick, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset says:  “People who call this drug recreational haven’t seen the harm that psychosis and other cannabis-related conditions can do”.

Cannabis and stroke

So, what about using cannabis products for stroke rehabilitation? 

SR Times spoke with professionals involved in stroke rehabilitation, as well as a cannabis physician on the benefits CBD could have for a stroke survivor.

You can read the full article here.

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