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Pot Smoking May Pose Heart Dangers, Study Suggests

But some believe the study is flawed

continued...

The study authors said it's estimated that 1.2 million people in France regularly use marijuana.

"Because of marijuana being illegal, it is most likely these statistics are less reported and that it underestimates the amount of younger people whose behavior has affected their hearts," Steinbaum said. "In younger people who have risks for cardiovascular disease, whether it be their own risk factors or their family history, there needs to be an understanding that using marijuana might be an unsafe choice for them and can lead to cardiovascular events, and potentially death."

But Earleywine said the study's reliance on an incomplete database renders its observations meaningless.

"In short, this study tells us a lot about what kinds of cardiac complications appeared in people who were reported to the French government for cannabis-related problems, but tells us little about the link between cannabis use and cardiovascular disease," he said.

Dr. Martha Daviglus, adjunct professor of preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, acknowledged that the study has flaws. However, she added that such research is needed given that medicinal and recreational marijuana use is becoming more widely accepted.

"We need to gain more evidence, as we did with alcohol or tobacco smoking, so people understand the risks of using these substances," Daviglus said.

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