According to some scientists, smoking marijuana may be a very risky thing to do when it comes to hypertension, in other words our blood pressure. What’s even more alarming is that with each year of use, the risk gets worse.

The study, which was researched at the school of public health at Georgia State University and published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, studied 1,200 people.

“Support for liberal marijuana use is partly due to claims that it is beneficial and possibly not harmful to health,” said Barbara Yankey, who co-led the research.

“It is important to establish whether any health benefits outweigh the potential health, social and economic risks. If marijuana use is implicated in cardiovascular diseases and deaths, then it rests on the health community and policy makers to protect the public.”

The study was a retrospective study that followed up on 1,213 people aged 20 or older who were involved in an ongoing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It was in the years 2005-2006 that the survey asked if they had ever use marijuana.

The newer study used this information and merged it with the mortality data in 2011 from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. It adjusted for factors that include tobacco smoking as well as for variables such as age, sex, and ethnicity.

According to the results, users had a 3.42 times higher risk of death from hypertension compare to non-users. There was also a 1.04 greater risk with each year of use.

“Marijuana stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen demand,” said Yankey.

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