Pubdate: Thu, 14 Jun 2001
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2001, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Aaron A.G. Gordon
Note: Headline by MAP editor


Reporting on academic articles in the mainstream press is
never easy. After reading It's Time To Quit, Doctor Tells Middle-Aged
Pot Users (June 12), I reviewed the abstract in Circulation. The
researchers actually concluded, "Smoking marijuana is a rare trigger
of myocardial infarction" compared to "other common stressors."

Of 3,882 heart-attack victims interviewed for the study, only 124
admitted smoking marijuana in the previous year. If the interviewees
were being honest (a major flaw in self-reporting studies), this would
suggest that only 3 per cent of heart-attack victims are even
infrequent marijuana smokers. This compares to figures as high as 10
per cent for the adult population generally.

Although the study lacked any control group, it seems to support the
hypothesis that marijuana smokers may well be at lower risk overall of
myocardial infarction than non-smokers.

Consistent with that hypothesis and other research, the study also
noted that marijuana smokers were less likely to have angina or
hypertension. This is all the more remarkable since the admitted
marijuana smokers in the study were more likely to be obese and
cigarette smokers, both known risk factors for heart attack.

Aaron A.G. Gordon
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MAP posted-by: Andrew