Marijuana can increase risk of heart attack, experts say


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – As more states legalize cannabis like Illinois, recreational use has gone up significantly. With that increase, doctors are warning that users should be worried about heart health.

Studies showed that chemicals in cannabis are linked to an increased risk of heart attack, heart failure and atrial fibrillation, or AFib. Doctors pointed to plant-based alkaloids, which increase heart rate.

Recently published research found that smoking, vaping or eating edibles nearly doubles the risk of heart attack in adults under 45.

Dr. Sudhir Mungee, an Interventional Cardiologist with the OSF HealthCare Cardiovascular Institute, said that cannabis is not worth the risk.

“You need to be away from the circle of those risks, because these are modifiable,” Mungee said. “This is in your hands, your genes are not, your genetic makeup is not. If you are born into a family which has high problems related to high cholesterol and stuff, you can’t change that. But this, this is in your hands. Change it now for a better future.”

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