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Blood Pressure and Marijuana Use: Results from a Decade of NHANES Data

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Objectives: After 14 years of no change, new blood pressure (BP) guidelines were released; yet, the impact of marijuana on BP remains unclear. Our objective was to examine the association between marijuana use and BP. Methods: We analyzed data for adults (N = 10,709; mean age 44.8 years; 50.3% men) who completed 2005-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Marijuana use was defined as never (no lifetime use), past (lifetime, not in past 30 days), and current (≥ 1 in past 30 days). Frequency of use was categorized based past 30-day use. BP was categorized as elevated BP, Stage 1 hypertension (HTN-I), or Stage 2 hypertension (HTN-II) based on updated guidelines. Results: Current users had a higher prevalence of elevated BP (19.4%), HTN-I (22.7%), HTN-II (12.9%) than never users (16.1%, 21.4%, and 11.99%) respectively; p = .03). After covariate adjustment, heavy users had 1.80 higher odds of elevated BP than never users (95% CI: 1.13-2.88). There were no statistically significant differences in BP in any other marijuana use category. Conclusions: Driven by heavy use, current users had a higher prevalence of elevated BP than never users. Patients at risk for abnormal BP should use caution when engaging in heavy marijuana use.
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Keywords: BLOOD PRESSURE; CANNABIS; CARDIOVASCULAR; HYPERTENSION; MARIJUANA; NHANES; PREVALENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies, Coral Gables, FL;, Email: [email protected] 2: Assistant Professor, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 3: Professor, Florida International University School of Integrated Science and Humanity, Miami, FL 4: Professor, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL 5: Sarah E. Messiah, Professor, University of Texas School of Public Health, Dallas, TX

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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