Reasonable suspicion drug testing is a critical safety measure.

Marijuana Use Raises Risk of Stroke: AHA

The American Heart Association posted a news release about it Feb. 19, saying "researchers found a link between marijuana use and stroke in a total of 64 stroke patients."

Smoking marijuana may increase the smoker's chance of having a stroke, according to a review of 34 different studies that has been published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke. AHA posted a news release about it Feb. 19, saying "researchers found a link between marijuana use and stroke in a total of 64 stroke patients (80 percent men, average age 32)," and also found:

  • 81 percent of the stroke patients suffered a stroke or mini-stroke within 24 hours following marijuana use.
  • About 25 percent of stroke patients suffered another stroke after repeated marijuana use.
  • Half of those who had a stroke also had other stroke risk factors — most commonly, tobacco or alcohol use.
  • Seventy-five percent of the patients (48 out of 64) underwent toxicological analysis for common street drugs, and results were positive for drugs other than marijuana in only two cases.

The researchers wrote that it is "striking" more strokes are not seen, given the widespread use of marijuana by the general public. They suggested this may be due to variations in dosage, frequency of use, strength of marijuana, individuals' genetic makeup, and other drugs taken along with the marijuana, and also that it's possible patients don't inform their doctors that they have used marijuana, or the exposure was overlooked.

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