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No link between marijuana use and kidney disease : Study

Raghu Kshitiz

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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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Sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time : Study

Raghu Kshitiz

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Representationa image

A new study has showed that sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time, challenging previous claims that weekday mornings — especially Mondays — were the danger zones.

Previously heart experts have long believed that weekday mornings were the danger zones for unexpected deaths from sudden cardiac arrests.

“While there are likely several reasons to explain why more cardiac arrests happen outside of previously identified peak times, stress is likely a major factor,” said Sumeet Chugh, a Professor of medicine from the Smidt Heart Institute in the US.

“We now live in a fast-paced, ‘always on’ era that causes increased psycho-social stress and possibly an increase in the likelihood of sudden cardiac arrest,” Chugh added.

Almost 17 million cardiac deaths occur annually worldwide while the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is less than one per cent.

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For the study, published in the journal Heart Rhythm, Chugh’s team analysed data on 1,535 from the community-based Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study between 2004 to 2014, among which only 13.9 per cent died in the early morning hours, the findings revealed.

All reported cases were based on emergency medical service reports containing detailed information regarding the cause of the cardiac arrest.

“Because sudden cardiac arrest is usually fatal, we have to prevent it before it strikes,” Chugh said. “Our next steps are to conclusively determine the underlying reasons behind this shift, then identify public health implications as a result,” he added.

Apart from stress, other contributing factors may be a shift in how high-risk patients are being treated, as well as inadequacies in how past studies have measured time of death caused by sudden cardiac arrest.

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