Marijuana use associated with increased risk of hypertension-linked death

Marijuana users more than three times as likely as non-users to die from hypertension-related causes, according to retrospective analysis.

Cannabis plant marijuana

The active constituent of marijuana is known to have effects on the cardiovascular system, including increased heart rate and blood pressure, but the cardiovascular consequences of marijuana smoking have not been well studied.

In a paper in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology (online, 8 August 2017), researchers studied data on 1,213 people’s reported marijuana use in 2005 linked to their mortality records in 2011[1]

After controlling for confounding factors, they found that, overall, the risk of death from hypertension among marijuana users was 3.42-fold (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20–9.79) that of non-marijuana users, and 1.04-fold for each year of use (95% CI 1.00–1.07).

The results indicate that the potential increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease related to marijuana use warrants further study, particularly given increasing levels of support for marijuana legalisation, the team concluded.


[1] Yankey BA, Rothenberg R, Strasser et al. Effect of marijuana use on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular mortality: a study using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey linked mortality file. Eur J Prev Cardio 2017. doi: 10.1177/2047487317723212

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, September 2017, Vol 9, No 9;9(9):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20203474

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