Cumulative Lifetime Marijuana Use and Incident Cardiovascular Disease in Middle Age: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study

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Abstract

Objectives

To investigate the effects of marijuana in the development of incident cardiovascular and cerebrovascular outcomes.

Methods

Participants were 5113 adults aged 18 to 30 years at baseline (1985-1986) from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, who were followed for more than 25 years. We estimated cumulative lifetime exposure to marijuana using repeated assessments collected at examinations every 2 to 5 years. The primary outcome was incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) through 2013.

Results

A total of 84% (n = 4286) reported a history of marijuana use. During a median 26.9 years (131 990 person-years), we identified 215 CVD events, including 62 strokes or transient ischemic attacks, 104 cases of coronary heart disease, and 50 CVD deaths. Compared with no marijuana use, cumulative lifetime and recent marijuana use showed no association with incident CVD, stroke or transient ischemic attacks, coronary heart disease, or CVD mortality. Marijuana use was not associated with CVD when stratified by age, gender, race, or family history of CVD.

Conclusions

Neither cumulative lifetime nor recent use of marijuana is associated with the incidence of CVD in middle age.

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