HealthDay News — In a review published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, potential associations are presented for marijuana use and cardiovascular risks.

Ersilia M. DeFilippis, M.D., from the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to summarize cardiovascular considerations related to marijuana use.

The researchers noted associations between marijuana use and cardiovascular risks, which are mainly based on case reports, case series, or observational studies. These risks include smoking-related cardiotoxicity, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral artery disease, cardiomyopathy, and metabolic alterations.

In addition, cannabinoids can inhibit the cytochrome P 450 family, thereby interfering with the action of multiple classes of cardiovascular therapies. Key classes of cardiovascular medications are affected by cannabinoids, including antiarrhythmics, calcium-channel blockers, statins, β-blockers, and warfarin.

Screening, counseling, and testing of cannabis use should be integrated into clinical care when appropriate. Cardiovascular specialists should be aware of local regulations and state-specific marijuana legalization status. Multidisciplinary assessment with a pharmacist is recommended for patients with cardiovascular disease and known marijuana use.

“Patients who are at high-risk of cardiovascular events should be counseled to avoid or at least minimize marijuana use,” the authors write. “It is imperative to conduct rigorous scientific research evaluating marijuana to inform recommendations for patient care and to provide a framework for the cardiovascular community.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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