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Am J Public Health. 2017 Apr;107(4):601-606. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303654. Epub 2017 Feb 16.

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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Jared P. Reis and David C. Goff Jr are with the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD. Reto Auer is with the Institute of Primary Health Care, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. Michael P. Bancks is with the Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL. Cora E. Lewis and James M. Shikany are with the Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham. Mark J. Pletcher is with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco. Jamal S. Rana and Stephen Sidney are with the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland.



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


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.


A total of 84% (nā€‰=ā€‰4286) reported a history of marijuana use. During a median 26.9 years (131ā€‰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.


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

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