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Cannabis use disorder more common in adults with pain

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Cannabis

New York, Jan 26 : Researchers have found that non-medical use of cannabis including frequent or problematic use is much more common in adults who have pain than in others.

Since 1996, 34 US states have passed medical marijuana laws and 11 states have legalised recreational cannabis use.

Studies indicate that heavy cannabis use increases the risk of vehicle accidents, respiratory and psychiatric symptoms, and cannabis use disorder.

“Despite this evidence, many people view cannabis use as harmless, and non-medical use of cannabis on a daily or near-daily basis has increased,” said study lead author Deborah Hasin from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in the US.

“In our study, we hoped to identify factors–such as pain–that may increase the risk of cannabis use disorder,” Hasin added.

For the findings, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, research team analysed data on marijuana use from the National Epidemiologic Surveys on Alcohol and Related Conditions in 2001-2002 and 2012-2013.

The researchers compared non-medical cannabis use patterns in adults with and without pain (approximately 20 per cent of participants in both surveys had moderate to severe pain).

Overall, non-medical marijuana use increased from about four per cent in 2002 to 9.5 per cent in 2013.

In addition, in the most recent survey, those with pain were significantly more likely to engage in frequent non-medical cannabis use than those without pain (5.0 per cent vs. 3.5 per cent).

According to the researchers, the risk of cannabis use disorder was also significantly higher in those with pain (4.2 per cent vs. 2.7 per cent).

Although meta-analyses of cannabis for treating pain show only mixed efficacy, particularly for plant marijuana, 66 per cent of adults now view marijuana as beneficial for pain management, the researchers said.

“Given that about 20 of the adult population experienced moderate to severe pain, this puts a large group of US adults at risk for frequent non-medical use and cannabis use disorder,” Hasin said.

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Health

Running marathons may up heart attack risk

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WORLD HEART DAY

New York, Feb 26 (IANS) While aerobic exercise generally benefits health, extreme endurance exercise — like marathon and triathlon — can raise a person’s risk for sudden cardiac arrest and atrial fribrillation, according to a new study.

After reviewing more than 300 scientific studies, the research team found that physically active people, such as regular walkers, have up to a 50 per cent lower risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death.

However, the team also identified potential risks with intense exercise training, according to the study published in the journal Circulation.

“Exercise is medicine, and there is no question that moderate to vigorous physical activity is beneficial to overall cardiovascular health. However, like medicine, it is possible to underdose and overdose on exercise — more is not always better and can lead to cardiac events, particularly when performed by inactive, unfit individuals with known or undiagnosed heart disease,” said Barry A Franklin, Professor at Oakland University in the US.

“More people are running marathons, participating in triathlons and doing high-intensity interval training. The purpose of this statement is to put the benefits and risks of these vigorous exercise programmes in perspective,” Franklin added.

The research group also reviewed a small study that concluded that the risk of sudden cardiac death or heart attack is low among people participating in high-intensity exercise such as marathons and triathlons.

However, over time, the risk of heart attack or sudden cardiac death among male marathon participants has risen, suggesting that these events are attracting higher risk participants (those who may have an underlying or undiagnosed cardiovascular condition such as heart rhythm abnormalities or a prior heart attack).

For women, who comprised only 15 per cent of the study’s population, the occurrence of sudden cardiac death was 3.5 fold less than in men.

Among participants in triathlons, almost 40 per cent of cardiac events occurred in first-time participants, indicating that inadequate training or underlying heart problems may be involved.

The research team also found that half of cardiac events occur in the last mile of a marathon or half-marathon, so maintaining a steady pace rather than sprinting is advised.

The risk of cardiac events is greater at high altitudes, but can be decreased by spending at least one day acclimating to the elevation prior to strenuous activity, the study said.

For people who want to become more active, the researchers suggested that most people can start a light programme of exercise and build up slowly to a moderate to vigorous exercise regimen.

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Cannabis use rises among the elderly, finds study

Women, and individuals who were married, had a college degree, or had higher income also significantly increased their cannabis use.

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Cannabis

New Delhi, Feb 26 : Cannabis use continues to increase in popularity among adults of 65 years of age and older in the United States, according to a new study.

Published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine estimates that cannabis use in adults aged 65 and older increased from 2.4 percent to 4.2 percent in the United States — a significant increase of 75 percent — between 2015 and 2018.

With the legalization of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes in many states in the US, medical professionals are studying its use in treating a number of chronic health conditions. Since 1996, 31 states have legalized medical marijuana, while 11 states and Washington DC have legalized recreational use.

The survey categorized cannabis use by asking whether marijuana, hashish, pot, grass, or hash oil was either smoked or ingested.

Researchers observed trends in prevalence of past-year cannabis use, broken down by sociodemographic background, chronic disease, healthcare utilization, and other substance use among adults age 65 and older, in the United States, between 2015 and 2018.

Certain subsets of this population saw an even higher rise in prevalence. For example, researchers estimated that past-year use more than doubled by older adults with diabetes, among those who have received mental health treatment, and those reporting past-year alcohol use.

Women, and individuals who were married, had a college degree, or had higher income also significantly increased their cannabis use.

Researchers say they next plan to acquire more detailed information about how medical marijuana affects older populations, its risks and side effects.

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Health

US President says coronavirus problem to be over soon

Asserting that the situation in the US is under control, Trump said the US also does business with other nations and wants other countries to be “happy healthy and well”.

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Donald Trump

New Delhi, Feb 25 : US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the coronavirus epidemic will soon be brought under control as China has been working very hard.

Addressing Indian CEOs here, Trump said the US plans to spend about USD 2.5 billion in fighting the deadly coronavirus.

“China is working very very hard, I have spoken to President Xi they are working very hard. They had a rough patch and right now it seems they are getting it under control, they are getting it more and more under control so I think it is a problem that is going to go away,” Trump said.

Asserting that the situation in the US is under control, Trump said the US also does business with other nations and wants other countries to be “happy healthy and well”.

“Let us see how it works out but I think it is going to work out fine. I hope so. We are working very hard, we are spending a tremendous amount of money also …about USD 2.5 billion on getting everything ready just in case something should happen and also helping other nations who are unequipped to do it,” Trump added.

The high profile CEO roundtable with Trump included captains of the Indian industry such as Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran and Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla.

China reported the outbreak of novel coronavirus on December 31, 2019. On Monday, Chinese officials said the death toll has climbed to 2,592, while the total number of confirmed cases increased to over 77,000.

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