Arrhythmias, General Risk Factors and Prevention April 2021:
A study of 2.4 million hospitalised cannabis users has found that those with an arrhythmia were 4.5 times more likely to die while in hospital than those without. The research is presented at EHRA 2021, an online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1
“People should be aware of this devastating outcome and be careful when using cannabis if they have a concomitant heart problem,” said study author Dr. Sittinun Thangjui of Bassett Healthcare Network, Cooperstown, US.
The researchers compared deaths between the two groups after adjusting for factors that could influence the relationship including age, sex, race, income, diabetes, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, obesity, and hospital location. Cannabis users with an arrhythmia had a 4.5 times higher odds of in-hospital mortality compared to those without an arrhythmia. Patients with an arrhythmia had a longer length of hospital stay (5.7 days) compared to those without (5.1 days).
Dr. Thangjui said: “Our study highlights that heart rhythm disorders may be a warning sign for an increased risk of death in people who use cannabis. More studies are needed to confirm our results. In the meantime, it seems sensible to screen these patients for arrhythmias if they present to hospital so that those with a heart rhythm problem can be closely monitored.”