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עמוד בית
Mon, 27.05.24

ORIGINAL ARTICLES

IMAJ | volume 25

Journal 4, April 2023
pages: 292-297

The Prevalence of Cannabis-related Arrhythmias in Patients with Cancer: Real-world Data Evidence of Patient-reported Outcomes

1 Department of Cardiology, Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital, Ashdod, Israel 2 Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel 3 Belong.life LTD, New York, NY, USA

Summary

Background:

Cannabis consumption is suspected of causing arrhythmias and potentially sudden death.

Objectives:

To investigate prevalence and temporal relationships between cannabis use and onset of symptomatic arrhythmias among cancer patients using Belong.life, a digital patient powered network application.

Methods:

Real-world data (RWD) were obtained through Belong.Life, a mobile application for cancer patients who use cannabis routinely. Patients replied anonymously and voluntarily to a survey describing their demographics, medical history, and cannabis use.

Results:

In total, 354 cancer patients (77% female, 71% 50–69 years of age) replied: 33% were smokers and 49% had no co-morbidities. Fifteen had history of arrhythmias and two had a pacemaker; 64% started cannabis before or during chemotherapy and 18% had no chemotherapy. Cannabis indication was symptom relief in most patients. The mode of administration included oil, smoking, or edibles; only 35% were prescribed by a doctor. Cannabis type was delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol > 15% in 43% and cannabidiol in 31%. After starting cannabis, 24 patients (7%) experienced palpitations; 13 received anti-arrhythmic drugs and 6 received anticoagulation. Eleven needed further medical investigation. Three were hospitalized. One had an ablation after starting cannabis and one stopped cannabis due to palpitations. Seven patients (2%) reported brady-arrhythmias after starting cannabis, but none needed pacemaker implantation.

Conclusions:

RWD showed that in cancer patients using cannabis, the rate of reported symptomatic tachy- and brady-arrhythmias was significant (9%) but rarely led to invasive treatments. Although direct causality cannot be proven, temporal relationship between drug use and onset of symptoms suggests a strong association.

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