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Have normal heart beat, had heart surgery in child hood. Can i smoke weed?

I had heart surgery (transposition of the great vessels) when i was 3 days old and I am now 17 years old. I go to the cardiologist every 2 years now and have been told I have a normal heart now. I occasionally smoke weed and I was wondering if this puts me at a greater risk for any type of illness since I already had a heart problem?
Asked On : Thu, 7 Jun 2012
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Cardiologist 's  Response
Hi Katherine,

Thanks for writing in. I am glad that you are doing well and following up with cardiologist after surgery for congenital heart disease some 17 years ago. You are right in assuming that smoking weed is going to invite trouble.
Marijuana can be hard on the heart. In the first hour after smoking pot, a person’s risk of a heart attack could rise almost five times. Personally, I think such use may be a bad idea for people with heart disease or anyone who has undergone a successful heart surgery may be for different reasons.

The danger exists in the first hour after smoking pot so much so that American Heart association states "It causes the heart rate to increase by about 40 beats a minute. Blood pressure increases then abruptly falls when the person stands up. This could precipitate a heart attack."
As an immediate trigger for heart attack, in patients with coronary artery disease who are otherwise asymptomatic, pot smoking is nearly twice as dangerous as sex for a sedentary person, exercise for a fit male or female, a tantrum of rage, or a bout of anxiety.
The researchers conclude that the relative risk of a heart attack jumped 4.8 times within the first hour after smoking, then dropped to 1.7 times in the second hour. That’s still double the risk, but the drop indicates that the danger declines rapidly once the weed smoking is stopped.

I hope that I have been able to answer your question. Please write back if you have any followup query.

Dr Anil Grover
Answered: Fri, 8 Jun 2012
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