New research published in the American Journal of Medicine suggests those who smoke marijuana are 50% less likely than non-marijuana smokers to develop metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat.
University of Miami researchers searched for a link between marijuana use and metabolic syndrome development by analyzing data provided by National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys covering the years between 2005 and 2010. Participants were classified as having metabolic syndrome if they had more than three symptoms: elevated fasting glucose levels, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, elevated systolic or diastolic blood pressure, and increased waist circumference. The nearly 8,500 subjects between the ages of 20-59 who participated in the study were grouped by those who have never smoked weed, those who currently smoke weed, and those who used to smoke weed but currently do not. The researchers found 19.5% of those who never smoked marijuana met the criteria for metabolic syndrome, while 17.5% of former smokers and only 13.8% of current smokers met that criteria.
The researchers' findings revealed current marijuana users were 54% less likely than never users to present with metabolic syndrome, which they said had "important implications of the nation as marijuana use becomes more accepted and we simultaneously face multiple epidemics of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes." This information has been provided by Medical Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.