Young marijuana users at risk from suffering a heart attack

Cannabis users could be putting their bodies at risk from a heart attack - even if they are still young, a new study finds.

According to cbsnews.com, research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows almost two per cent of health problems as a result of cannabis use are linked to the heart or arteries. Moreover, a quarter of these problems eventually lead to death.

The researchers looked at data from the French Addictovigilance Network dating between 2006 - 2010. Out of almost 2,000 cannabis users with medical problems relating to their addiction, 35 had cardiovascular complications. Of those 35, 20 had a heart attack and ten had diseases in the arteries of their limbs. Three suffered from arteries affecting blood vessels in the brain. In total, nine of the patients with cardiovascular complications died.

Although heart problems typically affect older people, the average age of the patients was 34.3 years, showing that even young cannabis smokers could be putting themselves at risk.

Lead scientist Dr Emilie Jouanjus, from the University of Toulouse, says it's important that the findings are analysed further, especially as some governments are choosing to legalise the drug.

"The general public thinks marijuana is harmless, but information revealing the potential health dangers of marijuana use needs to be disseminated to the public, policy makers and healthcare providers," she explains, reports dailymail.co.uk. "There is now compelling evidence on the growing risk of marijuana-associated adverse cardiovascular effects, especially in young people."