Self-reported marijuana use and cardiac arrhythmias (from the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis)

Am J Cardiol. 2022 Aug 15:177:48-52. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2022.05.004. Epub 2022 Jun 18.


Marijuana use among all age groups has been increasing, including among older adults aged ≥65 years. There is a lack of epidemiologic data examining arrhythmia risk among users of marijuana. We evaluated cross-sectional associations between current and past marijuana smoking and arrhythmias among 1485 participants from the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis who underwent extended ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring with the Zio Patch XT. Outcomes included premature atrial contractions, runs of supraventricular tachycardia, premature ventricular contractions, and runs of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (NSVT). Compared with never users, participants reporting current use of marijuana (n = 40, 3%) had more supraventricular tachycardia/day (adjusted geometric mean ratio [GMR] 1.42, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.87 to 2.32), more premature atrial contractions/hour (GMR 1.22, 95% CI 0.72, 2.13), and more NSVT/day (GMR 1.28, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.73); although, CIs overlapped 1. Additionally, more frequent marijuana use was associated with more runs of NSVT/day (GMR 1.56, 95% CI 1.13, 2.17). In conclusion, our results suggest that current marijuana use may be associated with a greater burden of arrhythmias. There is a need for additional research, mainly using a prospective design, to clarify if marijuana use causes atrial and ventricular arrhythmias or other cardiovascular complications among older adults.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atherosclerosis* / complications
  • Atrial Premature Complexes* / complications
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory
  • Humans
  • Marijuana Smoking* / adverse effects
  • Marijuana Smoking* / epidemiology
  • Marijuana Use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Report
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular* / complications
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular* / etiology
  • Ventricular Premature Complexes* / complications
  • Ventricular Premature Complexes* / epidemiology