According to a recent study investigating links between cannabis use and repeat strokes, young people with a history of stroke or TIA who regularly use cannabis are 50% more likely to experience a repeat stroke.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, over 48.2 million people in the United States use cannabis, and around 3 in 10 cannabis users have cannabis use disorder (CUD).

A stroke or TIA occurs when the blood supply to the brain is reduced or cut off. It is a life threatening medical emergency that needs immediate hospital treatment.

The study, led by researchers at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Philadelphia, PA, has shown young adults with a history of stroke or TIA and CUD have a 50% increased risk of recurrent stroke compared with those without CUD.

Lead author of the study Dr. Akhil Jain, explained to Medical News Today (MNT), “Since marijuana use is more common among younger people and is now legal in various U.S. states, we felt it was crucial to study the risk of re-stroke […] especially with the established first-time stroke risk in cannabis users. We used recreational dependent or chronic/habitual cannabis use for our study, i.e., cannabis use disorder.”

The team will present the study at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference (ISC)Trusted Source.

For the study, scientists used information from the National Inpatient Sample database to look at the risk of repeat stroke and TIA in patients with CUD.

The data had “included 161,390 people, ages 18-44 years, who had been in the hospital for any reason between October 2015 and 2017, and whose health records indicated a previous stroke or TIA.” Dr. Jain told MNT.

The researchers compared the number of recurrent strokes and TIA in 4,690 people with CUD to 156,700 people without CUD. They learned that 6.9% of people with CUD were admitted to the hospital for a recurrent stroke compared with 5.4% without CUD.

Dr. Jain explained that “after adjusting for demographic factors and relevant pre-existing medical conditions … people with CUD were 48% more likely to have been hospitalized for recurrent stroke than those without it.”

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