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Pot Not Heart-Smart

Drug increases risk of heart attack if you're middle-aged, study says

Marijuana can trigger heart attacks, particularly in middle-age people, a study says.

The research is the latest in a series of studies that looked at 3,882 people and what they were doing near the time of their heart attack, according to a recently published report from The American Heart Association. The studies seek to identify heart-attack triggers and to find out how people, particularly those at risk, can avoid heart attacks. The studies have already established that strenuous exercise and sexual intercourse can act as triggers.

Researchers have known for more than 30 years that smoking pot can provoke chest pain. It also can increase your heart rate and change your blood pressure. When people smoke marijuana, it increases the heart's demand for oxygen, but it also decreases the supply of oxygen. That may be why the risk of heart attack increases, researchers say.

Among the 3,882 people who participated in the study, 124 reported smoking marijuana in the year prior to the heart attack. The marijuana users averaged about 44 years of age, with 23 percent between the ages of 50 and 69, the report says.

You can read a HealthDay story on the report by clicking here.

To find out more about heart attacks and their warnings signs, you can read this information from the American Heart Association.

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