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No link between marijuana use and kidney disease : Study

Raghu Kshitiz



NEW YORK — A new study has found that there is no link between occasional and relatively light use of marijuana and kidney disease — at least among younger people who use the drug in moderation.

According to a new cross-sectional study of adults aged 18-59 in the US, there is no association between current or previous marijuana use and kidney function.

“Our research provides some reassuring evidence suggesting that there is no detrimental effect of infrequent, relatively light use of marijuana on kidney function among healthy adults under age 60” said lead investigator Murray Mittleman, professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard University’s School of Public Health and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“However, our research does not address heavy users, the elderly, or those with pre-existing chronic kidney disease,” Mittleman said in a Harvard news release.

“Research is needed to evaluate the impact of marijuana use in adults 60 and over, and among those with existing or at risk of developing kidney disease.”

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Little has been known about how it might affect the kidneys.

To investigate that, Mittleman’s team analyzed data from nearly 14,000 US adults, ages 18 to 59, who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2014.

When questioned, nearly 5,500 of the adults said they had smoked marijuana at least once, but not in the past 30 days, and more than 2,000 said they had smoked marijuana at least once within the last 30 days.

The researchers checked levels of microalbuminuria (an increase in urine albumin, which is a marker for kidney disease), and they found no association between past or current marijuana use and worsened kidney function or disease.

Marijuana is widely used in the United States, according to the researchers. Marijuana use rose from 7.5 percent in 2013 to 8.3 percent in 2015, especially among people 18 to 25 years old, the researchers reported on study was published online recently in The American Journal of Medicine.

With Agency Inputs

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Urinary, respiratory tract infections may double stroke risk

IANS Indo Asian News Service




Urinary, respiratory tract infections may double stroke risk. Representational Image

NEW YORK — People who are suffering from urinary or respiratory tract infections may face nearly double the risk of heart attacks and strokes than obesity, researchers have warned.

The study — led by a researcher of Indian origin — found that if the frequency of these common infections causing hospitalisation continues for a longer period it may even lead to death.

Patients diagnosed with any one of these common infections were three times more likely to die than those without prior infection after developing heart disease, and almost twice as likely to die if they had a stroke.

“Our figures suggest that those who are admitted to hospital with a respiratory or urinary tract infection are 40 per cent more likely to suffer a subsequent heart attack, and 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke, than patients who have had no such infection, and are considerably less likely to survive from these conditions,” Rahul Potluri, researcher at Britain’s Aston University, said in a statement.

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The effects of the common infections were of similar magnitude among the people suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol, researchers said.

“It is notable that infection appears to confer as much, if not more, of a risk for future heart disease and stroke as very well established risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes,” Potluri added.

Researchers conducted the study over 34,027 patients who had been admitted with a urinary or respiratory tract infection with an age and sex-matched control group without infection.

Factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, obesity and tobacco use, as well as medical conditions including excess cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation were also taken into account.

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