Marijuana use associated with higher stroke, bleeding risks after heart procedures

Study finds some complications, but no significant difference in risk of death.

8:02 AM

Author | Haley Otman

hospital bed drawn in blue ink with badge on bottom right saying lab note in yellow
Michigan Medicine

A new publication reports people who use marijuana were more likely to experience complications after a common minimally invasive procedure to restore blood flow through the arteries.

Nearly 4,000 of the more than 100,000 people who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention in Michigan between 2013 and 2016 reported having used marijuana. Those patients had a significantly higher risk of bleeding and cerebrovascular accidents like a stroke. However, risk of death was not significantly different between the two groups.

"Clinicians and patients should be aware of increased risk of post-PCI complications in these patients," the study authors wrote.

In addition, researchers found that patients who reported using marijuana had a lower risk of acute kidney injury.

"Although people who smoke marijuana may be at higher risk for complications such as stroke and post-PCI bleeding, this should not deter patients who use or have used marijuana from pursuing potentially life-saving PCI procedures," said lead author Sang Gune (Kyle) Yoo, M.D., a resident physician at University of Michigan Health, in an American Heart Association story.

"With the increasing use of marijuana and cannabis products, continued research is desperately needed to understand the health effects of marijuana use so that we can have well informed conversations with our patients," said study author Devraj Sukul, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at the University of Michigan Health Frankel Cardiovascular Center.

The study comes from the Michigan Cardiovascular Consortium, known as BMC2, which is housed at University of Michigan Health and includes collaborators from institutions across the state that participate in the quality improvement initiative.

Yoo previously presented the findings at the 2020 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.

The researchers were funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, although this content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH, nor of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which funds the BMC2 coordinating center.

Paper cited: "Marijuana Use and In-Hospital Outcomes After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention in Michigan, United States," JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcin.2021.06.036

More Articles About: Lab Notes Interventional cardiology Heart disease Cardiovascular: Treatment & Surgery Cardiovascular: Diagnostics & Procedures
Health Lab word mark overlaying blue cells
Health Lab

Explore a variety of healthcare news & stories by visiting the Health Lab home page for more articles.

Media Contact Public Relations

Department of Communication at Michigan Medicine

[email protected]


Stay Informed

Want top health & research news weekly? Sign up for Health Lab’s newsletters today!

Featured News & Stories heart organ yellow blue
Health Lab
Irregular heartbeat after valve surgery increases risk of stroke, death
Postoperative atrial fibrillation, commonly known as Afib, has traditionally been viewed as benign and limited. But a study led by researchers at the University of Michigan Health Frankel Cardiovascular Center finds that postoperative atrial fibrillation increases the risk of strokes and permanent Afib — and is linked to worse long term survival — after heart valve surgery.
Brain image highlighting areas
Health Lab
Women stroke survivors believe they will receive worse care in the emergency room
National study examined health care perceptions of approximately 3,500 women, including those with and without a history of stroke
surgeons in OR with blue and teal scrubs with screen on and patient under teal sheet
Health Lab
Treating heart valve disease: What are your options?
Michigan Medicine’s head of cardiac surgery, Gorav Ailawadi, M.D, M.B.A., answers questions about different treatment options for heart valve disease.
heart organ yellow blue
Health Lab
Older adults from distressed communities attend less cardiac rehab after heart procedures
Older adults who live in disadvantaged communities are less likely to attend cardiac rehabilitation after common heart procedures, a Michigan Medicine-led study finds.
heart image drawing
Health Lab
TAVR: Less than one-third of patients enter cardiac rehab after heart procedure
The vast majority of people who have a minimally invasive heart valve replacement procedure do not participate in recommended cardiac rehabilitation, a Michigan Medicine-led study finds.
doctor checking heart on patient
Health Lab
Leading experts release new guidelines to improve congenital heart surgery care for children
For the first time in more than 20 years, dozens of pediatric cardiologists, surgeons and other health professionals have come together to develop new guidelines intended to improve heart surgery care for this population of children and teens.