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Study Links Marijuana Smoking to Stroke

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A small New Zealand study has linked recent marijuana smoking with higher risk of stroke. The study, conducted at the Auckland City Hospital, sends a dismal cloud over a practice that has been believed rather safe, although illegal, up until now.

“This study shows that [cannabis] might not be a relatively safe substance,” says Dr. Barber, professor of clinical neurology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand at the American Stroke Association annual meeting, in Honolulu.  “…it may [in fact] lead to stroke.”

Barber felt compelled to conduct the study as more and more stroke victims admitted to recently smoking marijuana. During the test, Barber took urine samples from 160 patients between the ages of 18 to 55-years. The group was made up of 150 participants who’d been admitted to hospital following a stroke and 10 admitted following a TIA mini-stroke (or a transient Ischemic Attack). Barber compared the urine samples from this first group with those of 160 patients, also aged 18 to 55, without incidence of stroke or mini-stroke.

Upon comparison, Barber found that 16-percent of those admitted for a stroke or mini-stroke had recently smoked marijuana versus only 8-percent of the control group who had recently smoked cannabis.

“…the stroke patients who recently smoked marijuana were twice as likely to have had a stroke as the control participants,” claims Barber.

Naysayers at the conference pointed to gaps in the research—including the fact that Barber didn’t take cigarette smoking into account, which already puts individuals at a high risk of stroke.

Source: Digital Journal

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