BOSTON — Among patients hospitalized for acute MI, marijuana use was not associated with elevated risk for arrhythmias but was linked to lower rates of atrial fibrillation and in-hospital mortality, researchers reported at the Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions.
According to the study background, between 2002 and 2014, marijuana use rose 455% in U.S. adults aged 55 to 64 years and 333% in U.S. adults older than 64 years, but little was known about the association between arrhythmias and marijuana use in patients with acute MI.
“The legalization of marijuana is spreading quickly across the U.S., resulting in more people using it, but we still don’t know the true, long-term impact it has on one’s heart health,” Christine Tompkins, MD, assistant professor of cardiology medicine at University of Colorado School of Medicine, said in a press release.
Tompkins and colleagues analyzed 1,273,897 patients aged 18 to 70 years with acute MI hospitalized between 1994 and 2013, of whom 3,854 reported marijuana use. Patients reporting cocaine, methamphetamine or alcohol use were excluded.
Marijuana may be linked to lower rates of atrial fibrillation and in-hospital mortality.
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The primary outcome was in-hospital ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation (VT/VF) or cardiac arrest. Secondary endpoints were in-hospital AF and in-hospital death.
Compared with nonusers, marijuana users were younger, more likely to be men and less likely to have CAD or coronary risk factors (P < .001 for all), according to the researchers.
In both groups, 9.7% of patients experienced in-hospital VT/VF or cardiac arrest (P = .94), Tompkins and colleagues found.
However, compared with nonusers, marijuana users had lower rates of in-hospital AF (4.5% vs. 8.7%) and in-hospital mortality (4% vs. 6%), according to the researchers.
When Tompkins and colleagues performed multivariable analyses, they found no difference between the groups in risk for in-hospital VT/VF or cardiac arrest (OR = 1.01; P = .81), but lower risk for in-hospital mortality among marijuana users (OR = 0.79; P = .016) and a trend toward lower risk for AF among marijuana users (OR = 0.85; P = .054).
“Our study is the first to examine the relationship between marijuana use after a heart attack and various arrhythmias, and we did not see a negative connection,” Tompkins said in the release. “We are just one step closer to a better understanding of the various heart effects of marijuana, so that we are able to take the necessary actions to provide optimal patient care.” – by Erik Swain
Johnson-Sasso C, et al. Abstract B-PO02-183. Presented at: Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions; May 9-12, 2018; Boston.
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.