The use of Marijuana Recent Findings:
- Two recent studies have found evidence that regular marijuana use is harmful to heart and brain health, just as the drug’s use increases across the United States for both medical and recreational purposes.
- Even when controlling for other characteristics, daily marijuana use was found to increase the risk of heart failure by roughly a third compared to persons who reported never using marijuana in one study.
- Marijuana usage significantly raised the chance of a serious acute cardiac or brain incident among hospitalized older adults with Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, according to a second study.
Monday, November 6, 2023, at 4 a.m. CT/5 a.m. ET, embargoed
November 6, 2023 — DALLAS — Two preliminary studies, to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2023, suggest that regular marijuana use may increase the risk for heart failure, stroke, or heart attack, even after accounting for other cardiovascular risk factors like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Taking place in Philadelphia from November 11 to 13, this meeting is widely recognized as the world’s preeminent forum for the presentation and discussion of cutting-edge cardiovascular science research and clinical practice evidence.
Marijuana, often known by its scientific name, cannabis, is becoming increasingly common as more jurisdictions legalize its usage for both recreational and therapeutic purposes. However, how marijuana impacts the heart and brain health is still not totally established. Two recent investigations, conducted by different teams of scientists, clarify the link between frequent marijuana usage and the dangers of heart failure, heart attack, and stroke.
The All of Us Research Programme is funded by the National Institutes of Health and has enrolled over 150,000 adult participants from the United States. Daily marijuana usage was correlated with heart failure in a study that looked at the influence of lifestyle, biology, and environment in a wide range of groups.
According to the study’s primary author, Yakubu Bene-Alhasan, M.D., M.P.H., a resident physician at MedStar Health in Baltimore, “previous research shows links between marijuana use and cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation, which is known to cause heart failure.” As the authors put it, “Marijuana use isn’t without its health concerns, and our study provides more data linking its use to cardiovascular conditions.”
Bene-Alhasan and coworkers tracked 156,999 people who did not have heart failure at the time of enrollment. Participants in the study filled out a questionnaire on how often they used marijuana and were then tracked for nearly 4 years (45 months). Individual socioeconomic status, history of alcohol and tobacco use, and the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors connected to heart failure were all taken into account in the research.
According to the findings:
- There were 2,958 cases of heart failure (nearly 2%) during the research period.
- Daily marijuana users were shown to have a 34% higher chance of having heart failure compared to individuals who never used the drug. There was no age or sex at birth or smoking-related difference in this risk.
- In a subsequent analysis, when coronary artery disease was added to the inquiry, the risk of heart failure was reduced from 34% to 27%, demonstrating that coronary artery disease is a mechanism through which daily marijuana use may lead to heart failure.
- According to Bene-Alhasan, “Our results should encourage more researchers to study marijuana use to better understand its health implications,” particularly with regard to cardiovascular risk. “We want to provide the population with high-quality information on marijuana use, to help inform policy decisions at the state level, to educate patients, and to guide health care professionals.”
- To use marijuana recreationally or for purposes other than those for which it was prescribed was considered to be in violation of the law.
- The median age was 54 years old; 60.9% of participants were born female; 70.7% of individuals identified as white; 21.8% of participants identified as black or African American; 4.2% of participants identified as Asian; 2.2% of participants identified as more than one race/ethnicity; and 1.1% identified as being of another race/ethnicity.
- Inclusion in the study started in June of 2016. Participants were tracked for up to 45 months, or 4 years, from the time they registered until June 2022.
- The lack of information about whether or not the marijuana was ingested or inhaled is a weakness of the study. According to studies, how marijuana is ingested may alter cardiovascular results.
The abstract includes a list of contributors, their disclosures, and their funding sources.
Cannabis usage among nonsmoking older adults is associated with an increased risk of serious cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (Poster Abstract MDP249).
In a second piece of research, researchers looked at data from the 2019 National Inpatient Sample, the largest national database of hospitalizations, to see if patients who used marijuana had an increased risk of cardiovascular events like heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrests, and arrhythmias during their hospital stays. Data on persons over 65 years old with cardiovascular risk factors and no history of tobacco use (cigarettes or other tobacco products) were collected. Patient records were then separated among those who reported using marijuana and those who did not. Coding for cannabis use disorder in hospital records varies widely from facility to facility.
Since 2015, cannabis use in the United States has almost doubled, and it is increasing in older adults; therefore, it is important to understand the potential increased cardiovascular risk from cannabis use, according to lead study author Avilash Mondal, M.D., a resident physician at Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia. Since cannabis and tobacco are often used in tandem, we were able to focus on the relationship between cannabis use and cardiovascular outcomes in our trial by excluding patients who were smokers.
28,535 cannabis users were included in the study, and they all had at least one cardiovascular risk factor (hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol).
- 20% had a greater likelihood of having a significant cardiac or brain incident when hospitalized, compared to the group who did not use cannabis.
- When compared to non-cannabis users, 13.9% of those with cardiovascular risk factors who used cannabis while hospitalized experienced a serious adverse heart and brain event.
- Moreover, cannabis users were more likely to be transferred to other facilities (28.9% vs. 19%) and had a higher rate of heart attacks (7.6% vs. 6%, respectively).
- Marijuana users were more likely to experience significant adverse outcomes related to the heart and brain if they had hypertension (defined as a blood pressure reading of more than 130 over 80 mm Hg) and high cholesterol.
- Important cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events should be considered in patients 65 and older who have a cannabis use disorder. Mondal argued that further research was needed to determine the long-term effects of cannabis consumption. The question, “Are you using cannabis?” should be a standard part of any patient history taken by medical providers. When asked if they smoke, most people will automatically think of cigarettes. The major message to the public is to “open the lines of communication so that cannabis use is acknowledged and considered” and “be more aware of the increased risks.”
- One caveat is that the data comes from a massive database, so there’s a chance that some patients’ records have been incorrectly coded. The results of the investigation may also be affected by variations in how hospitals report cases of cannabis use disorder in their electronic health records.
- The medical records of 28,835 persons with cannabis use disorder and hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol were reviewed from the 2019 National Inpatient Sample. Ten million six hundred and eighty adults without the same risk characteristics as the marijuana users served as the comparison group.
- Hospitalization data were analyzed to determine the frequency of cardiovascular disease-related hospitalizations among adults in both categories.
- 69.5% of participants in the cannabis use disorder group were male and 30.5% were female. In contrast, 54.2% of the non-users were females, while 45.8% of the users were males.
- White adults (70.2%) were less likely to have used cannabis than black adults (10.8%), Hispanic adults (5.6%) were less likely than blacks (7.4%), Asian or Pacific Islander adults (0.70%) were less likely than blacks (2.7%), and Native Americans (1.0%) were less likely than blacks (0.40%).
“The latest research about cannabis use indicates that smoking and inhaling cannabis increases concentrations of blood carboxyhemoglobin (carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas), tar (partially burned combustible matter),” said Robert L. Page II, Pharm.D., M.S.P.H., FAHA, chair of the voluntary American Heart Association task force on cannabis and cardiovascular health. To quote one of the studies: “Together with the results of these two research studies, the cardiovascular risks of cannabis use are becoming clearer and should be carefully considered and monitored by health care professionals and the public.”
Page teaches at the University of Colorado’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences on the Aurora campus’s departments of clinical pharmacy and physical medicine.
The abstract includes a list of contributors, their disclosures, and their funding sources.
The American Heart Association does not necessarily endorse the views expressed at its scientific meetings, which are the sole responsibility of the study’s authors. Neither their accuracy nor their dependability is guaranteed by the Association. Abstracts presented at the Association’s scientific meetings are not peer-reviewed, rather, they are curated by independent review panels and are selected based on the ability to add to the range of scientific subjects and opinions expressed at the meeting.
Until the entire results are published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, they should be treated as preliminary. Individuals provide the majority of the Association’s funding, though corporations (especially those in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries) and foundations also contribute to the organization and underwrite some programs and events.
The Association has rigorous standards in place to ensure that no such connections affect the accuracy of the scientific information presented. Here you can find information about the Association’s overall finances, as well as its revenue from pharmaceutical and biotech firms, device makers, and health insurance providers.
Amazon Pharmacy: Revolutionizing the Pharmaceutical Industry
(Alifweb) – In the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce and healthcare, Amazon Pharmacy has emerged as a game-changer. This article delves deep into the Amazon Pharmacy model, its impact on the pharmaceutical industry, and how it’s redefining the way we access prescription medications.
The Amazon Pharmacy Concept
Amazon Pharmacy, the brainchild of e-commerce giant Amazon, is a revolutionary online platform that offers a wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medications. With Amazon’s reputation for convenience, affordability, and reliability, it has quickly become a trusted destination for customers seeking pharmaceutical products.
Seamless Ordering and Delivery
One of Amazon Pharmacy’s key selling points is its user-friendly interface, making it incredibly simple for customers to order their medications. The platform offers a range of delivery options, including same-day and two-day delivery, ensuring that patients receive their medications promptly.
Amazon’s competitive pricing strategy has disrupted the pharmaceutical market. Customers can often find medications at a lower cost compared to traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies. This affordability factor is a significant draw for consumers.
Amazon Pharmacy operates in strict adherence to pharmaceutical regulations, ensuring the safety and efficacy of the products it offers. With robust quality control measures and licensed pharmacists overseeing the fulfillment of prescriptions, customers can have peace of mind about the authenticity and safety of their medications.
Secure Prescription Upload
Customers can securely upload their prescription information on the Amazon Pharmacy platform. The process is user-friendly, and it allows for easy prescription verification, making it a convenient choice for patients seeking to refill their medications.
Amazon Pharmacy goes the extra mile by offering medication synchronization services. This service streamlines the process for patients taking multiple medications by aligning their refill dates, making medication management more straightforward.
Amazon Prime Benefits
Amazon Prime members enjoy added benefits when using Amazon Pharmacy. These perks include additional discounts, enhanced delivery options, and access to the Amazon Prime prescription savings program, all of which contribute to an even more convenient and cost-effective experience for members.
Impact on Traditional Pharmacies
The advent of Amazon Pharmacy has not gone unnoticed by traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies. Many have had to adapt to the changing landscape, improving their online presence and delivery services to stay competitive.
In conclusion, Amazon Pharmacy is a transformative force in the pharmaceutical industry, offering convenience, competitive pricing, and a commitment to safety. With its user-friendly platform, adherence to regulations, and the added benefits for Amazon Prime members, it is no surprise that this innovative service is reshaping how we access and manage our prescription medications. Amazon Pharmacy is not just a disruptor; it’s a revolution in the pharmaceutical industry.
Period product makers get together to help shoppers get their “tampon tax” back
(Alifweb) – On Wednesday, a group of menstrual product manufacturers announced the formation of “The Tampon Tax Back Coalition,” which they claim is an effort to repay consumers for the “unjust tax” on feminine hygiene items such as tampons, pads, and menstrual cups.
Menstruation goods are subject to sales tax in 21 states, but women’s health advocates have long maintained that tampons, pads, and other products should be tax-free. August, Cora, Lola, The Honey Pot, Rael, Here We Flo, Saalt, and DIVA are among the eight brands involved in the collaboration.
Customers who buy products from any of these businesses, in-store or online, can now submit their receipts to www.tampontaxback.com and be reimbursed for the sales tax on their purchases, according to the association.
“Text us a picture of your receipt and within 24 hours we will Venmo or Paypal you back the tampon tax you paid,” said Nadya Okamoto, co-founder of August and the coalition’s driving force. “Each brand will reimburse its product’s customer.” On the backend, August is arranging this through a dedicated pool of monies from each business.”
Even though 19 states have repealed the sales tax on period goods in recent years, Okamoto believes that much more has to be done to increase public awareness about the issue until no states collect sales tax on these vital products.
Texas became the latest state to eliminate the tax on period products when it passed legislation that took effect on September 1, 2023. On the retail side, CVS announced in October that it would lower the prices of its store-branded menstruation products nationally and would pay sales taxes in a dozen states.
“Really what we are trying to say is that [period products] should fall into the category of medical necessities,” Okamoto added. “In a lot of the states where tampon tax is levied on period products, it is because specifically tampons and pads fall under the category of nonessentials, so they are taxed with a sales tax.”
clients were not charged sales tax on their transactions with her brand August, which she started as a direct-to-consumer period care brand in 2021 (there are seven states where it is unlawful to absorb sales tax for clients), according to Okamoto.
Target (TGT) began selling August items in over 400 Target stores in March of this year. “When we launched in Target, we lost the ability to cover the sales tax for our customers because we weren’t overseeing the point of purchase,” she went on to say.
She devised a workaround. People who purchased August products in stores might submit their receipts to the corporation and be compensated for the sales tax, she explained. The goal was to get additional brands to participate. This became the basis for the endeavor of the new coalition.
“We were already absorbing the tampon tax since we first launched in June 2021,” Okamoto told reporters. “A lot of what we are doing now as of May 2023 is saying, hey, we can’t control whether or not you are charged a sales tax but we can reimburse you for it because we don’t believe this tax is justified.
And now we can reimburse you for the August products you buy, and any other period care you get from any of the eight participating brands in the coalition.”
Is there a downside?
According to Katherine Loughead, a senior policy analyst at Tax Foundation, a non-partisan tax research organization based in Washington, DC, there has been an increase in sales tax exemptions on various products, including menstrual products, in recent years as policymakers try to help specific groups of consumers.
She also explained the tampon tax. “What we’re discussing here is sales tax.” Tampons are not subject to any product-specific excise tax in any state. “A tampon tax is a bit of a misnomer,” Loughead explained. “A tax on a specific good is usually named after that product.”
So the petrol tax only applies to petrol, and the cigarette tax only applies to smokers. The so-called tampon tax is simply a sales tax that applies to the majority of the things we purchase.”
According to Loughead, as different categories of items are exempt from various sales taxes over time, one effect is that “states that have exempted more and more goods repeatedly have had to raise their sales tax rates over time to generate additional revenue.”
“So even if some consumers are initially better off from different exemptions, in the long run, they are not really better off because they are paying a higher rate on all the other things that they buy,” she added.
According to advocacy groups, the sales tax on period products is merely one component of a multifaceted difficulty for consumers who require them.
“The sales tax disproportionately affects poor families,” said Troy Moore, director of external affairs for the National Diaper Bank Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting individuals and families in obtaining basic necessities such as diapers and period supplies through its offshoot, The Alliance for Period Supplies.
According to the nonprofit organization Period, roughly one in every four students in the United States struggles to purchase period products, with lower-income students and students of colour (especially Latinx students) being more impacted than White and middle-income students.
“Period poverty is also a big issue,” Moore added. “Many can’t afford to buy these basic necessities and the ramifications of this are seen in how it affects school attendance, for example.”
Okamoto, who co-founded Period as a high school student in 2014, said she had an end goal for her decade-long struggle for menstrual equity. “Our ultimate goal is to eliminate the tampon tax.”
The tampon tax was in 40 states when I started my work, and it is currently in 21. “It’s not out of the question that the tax in the remaining 21 states will be reduced,” she said.
“My larger hope is accessible period products in schools, shelters, and prisons and free period care in workplaces and in schools,” Okamoto said in a statement.
Understanding the Impact of DOMS on Your Body
(Alifweb) – In the realm of physical fitness and sports, the acronym DOMS often creeps into conversations and discussions among athletes, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts.
DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, is a phenomenon that every active individual has encountered at some point in their journey toward a healthier, more robust body.
We delve into the intricacies of DOMS, exploring what it is, what causes it, and how to alleviate its effects. Our mission is not only to provide valuable insights but also to empower you with the knowledge to outrank similar articles in Google’s search results.
Some people worked on their summer bodies in the winter, while others may just be starting out on their trip. We all get muscle pain in different parts of our bodies, whether we work out for thirty minutes or start a hard exercise plan right away.
The Polokwane Observer talked to Nadine Meiring, a masseuse in the area, to find out what the pain is and why it happens. Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness, or Doms, is when your muscles hurt, ache, and feel sore after doing new, hard exercise. It can also happen because of temporary muscle damage and inflammation.
Muscle pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, joint pain, temporary lack of muscle strength, and a smaller range of motion are all common signs. “Doms usually starts 12 to 24 hours after exercise and peaks between 24 and 72 hours after exercise,” Meiring said.
She also said that the main cause of DOMS is a mix of tiny tears in the muscle fibers that happen during a hard workout or activity. “Tiny tears happen when muscles are stressed in a way or at a level they are not used to.”
“Doms can happen when you play a sport for the first time, do the same workout over and over, or do any other physical activity you aren’t used to,” she said.
Meiring says that to avoid DOMS, the following steps can be taken:
• Go slowly.
“The best way to get stronger is to slowly make your workouts harder.” It’s best to only raise one of these things at a time: the number of workouts you do each week, the length of your workouts, or how hard you work out.
• Do some light stretching and warm-ups before and after working out.
“You should plan to take days off to rest.” This includes things like walking or stretching that help the body heal.
Within five to seven days of starting, most people with dors get better on their own.
The best way to treat DOMS is with time, but you can also do things to ease the pain and stiffness while you wait for your muscles to heal.
• Massage or vibration treatment with a massage gun.
• Soak in cold water.
• Rolling in foam
• Clothing with compression
Topical painkillers like Voltaren Gel, Icy Hot, and Norflex Gel, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
• Some light exercise.
“Domes isn’t just a problem for professional sports. When someone does something new or powerful that their body is not used to, they may experience symptoms.
Doms can happen to anyone, no matter how fit they are, when they increase the speed of their workout, do eccentric exercises, or try a new type of exercise that their body is not used to.
Any muscle can be affected, but the legs and arms are where it’s felt the most,” Meiring said.
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