Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Cannabis Linked To Higher Stroke Risk In Young Adults

Smoking Cannabis Linked To Higher Stroke Risk In Young Adults

Cannabis use may double the stroke risk in young adults, according to a recent study by researchers in the Centre for Brain Research at The University of Auckland.

The study showed that ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients were 2.3 times more likely to have cannabis detected in urine tests as other age and sex matched patients.

“This is the first case-controlled study to show a possible link to the increased risk of stroke from cannabis,” said Professor Alan Barber, lead investigator for the study and Neurological Foundation professor of clinical neurology at the University. “Cannabis has been thought by the public to be a relatively safe, although illegal substance. This study shows this might not be the case; it may lead to stroke.”

Professor Barber this week presented the study findings to the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2013 in Honolulu. The study included 160 ischemic stroke/TIA patients aged 18-55 years who had urine screens upon admission to the hospital.

Among the patients, 150 had ischemic stroke and 10 had TIAs. Sixteen percent of patients tested positive for cannabis, and were mostly male who also smoked tobacco, while only 8.1 percent of controls tested positive for cannabis in urine samples. Researchers found no differences in age, stroke mechanism or most vascular risk factors between cannabis users and non-users.

In previous case reports, ischemic stroke and TIAs developed hours after cannabis use, says Professor Barber. “These patients usually had no other vascular risk factors apart from tobacco, alcohol and other drug usage. It’s challenging to perform prospective studies involving illegal substances such as cannabis because “questioning stroke and control patients about cannabis use is likely to obtain unreliable responses,” he says.

The study provides the strongest evidence to date of an association between cannabis and stroke, says Professor Barber. But the association is confounded because all but one of the stroke patients who were cannabis users also used tobacco regularly.

“We believe it is the cannabis use and not tobacco,” says Professor Barber, who hopes to conduct another study to determine whether there’s an association between cannabis and stroke independent of tobacco use.

“This may prove difficult given the risks of bias and ethical strictures of studying the use of an illegal substance,” he says. “However, the high prevalence of cannabis use in this cohort of younger stroke patients makes this research imperative.”

Physicians should test young people who come in with stroke for cannabis use, says Professor Barber. “People need to think twice about using cannabis, because it can affect brain development and result in emphysema, heart attack and now stroke.”

The study was funded by the Auckland District Health Board’s A+ Trust. Co-authors were: Dr Neil E. Anderson (ADHB), Dr Heidi Pridmore, Dr Venkatesh Krishnamurthy, Dr Sally Roberts, Dr David A. Spriggs, and Dr Kristie Carter.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Christchurch: Fixing Town Hall Means Performing Arts Precinct Rethink

Christchurch City Council’s decision to spend $127.5 million fixing the Town Hall means not all the land currently designated for the city’s Performing Arts Precinct is required, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

ALSO:

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news