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Regular Cannabis Use Linked to Structural Changes in Heart – MD Magazine



Results of a new study from the Queen Mary University of London is establishing a potential link between cannabis use and structural changes to the heart.

Using MRI images from more than 3000 people, including 152 current or former cannabis users, investigators found regular use of cannabis was linked to enlargement of the left ventricle and early signs of impaired heart function.

With the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis becoming increasingly common throughout the world, investigators sought to evaluate potential associates between cannabis use and cardiac function and structure through MRI images of 3407 UK Biobank participants. Most of the participants rarely or never used cannabis, while 47 were current regular users, and 105 had used it regularly but more than 5 years ago—regular use was defined as daily or weekly use.

The mean age of the study population was 62 years and 55% were female. Investigators pointed out participants who were current users were more likely to be younger, male, current tobacco smokers, and have greater levels of social deprivation but were less likely to be on antihypertensive medication, compared to the non-users or previous user groups.

In analyses adjusted for factors including age, sex, BMI, diabetes, smoking, and alcohol consumption, regular cannabis use was associated with larger indexed left ventricular end-diastolic (+5.31 ml/m2, 95% CI: 1.4 – 9.3 mls/m2, P=0.008), end-systolic volumes (+3.3 mls/m2, 95% CI: 0.78 – 5.83 mls/m2, P=0.010), and impaired myocardial global circumferential strain (-0.78, 95% CI: -1.47 – -0.09, P=0.026) compared to non-users. No differences were noted between left ventricular myocardial mass, ejection fraction and stroke volume, or right ventricular, left atrial and right atrial parameters. Additionally, previous users had parameters similar to those of participants classified as rare or non-users.

While investigators noted the study, which they suggest is the first to report alterations in cardiac structure and function associated with recreational cannabis use, indicates cannabis use was associated with potentially adverse changes to heart structure they also pointed out their study had multiple limitations. Limitations of the study included being restricted to mostly (96%) Caucasians and reliance on self-reported cannabis use.

 “Our findings are not conclusive but the research took place against a backdrop of decriminalization and legalization of recreational cannabis use in many countries,” said lead investigator Mohammed Khanji, MBBCh, PhD, senior clinical lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. “We urgently need systematic research to identify the long-term implications of regular consumption of cannabis on the heart and blood vessels.”

This study, titled “Association between recreational cannabis use and cardiac structure and function,” was published in  JACC Cardiovascular Imaging.

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Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on Oct. 23 – Global News



Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Friday:

Toronto COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise

The City of Toronto said there were 317 new coronavirus cases Friday, bringing the city’s total to 25,913. There are 123 people hospitalized, which is an increase of 17 people from Thursday.

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Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto declares COVID-19 outbreak in surgical unit

Sunnybrook Hospital says a coronavirus outbreak has been declared in a surgical unit after five cases of the virus were identified.

“All outbreak control measures are in place and there has been no transmission to other patient care areas of the hospital,” a spokesperson for the hospital told Global News.

All of the infected patients are asymptomatic, the hospital said, adding that four patients remain in hospital and one was discharged.

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Sunnybrook remains open for all scheduled clinics and procedures and emergency visits, the spokesperson said.

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Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto declares COVID-19 outbreak in surgical unit

Ontario reported 826 new COVID-19 cases on Friday

Ontario reported 826 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, bringing the provincial total to 68,353. Active cases in Ontario now stand at 6,474.

According to Friday’s provincial report, 292 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 186 in Peel Region, 87 in Ottawa, 72 in York Region, and 38 in Durham Region.

All other public health units in Ontario reported under 35 new cases.

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Nine more deaths were recorded totaling 3,080 deaths in Ontario. More than 40,000 tests were processed in the last 24 hours. Resolved cases increased by 733 from the previous day.

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Ontario reports 826 new coronavirus cases, 9 more deaths

Ontario long-term care homes

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 1,913 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of three deaths since the previous day. Eight health-care workers and staff in long-term care homes have died.

There are 77 current outbreaks in homes, an decrease of three.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 229 active cases among long-term care residents and 237 active cases among staff — up by 23 and down by six cases respectively in the last day.

Ontario long-term care commission provides government recommendations for 2nd wave in homes

Ontario’s independent commission into long-term care in the province has released early recommendations for the Ford government to implement as the second wave of the coronavirus is in full swing.

The report found that in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, 55 per cent of long-term care homes in the province reported an outbreak, while 75 per cent of all deaths were represented by long-term care residents.

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Earlier findings found that long-term care homes in the province suffered from staffing shortages, and a lack of strong infection and prevention and control measures (IPAC), among other things.

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Ontario long-term care commission provides government recommendations for 2nd wave in homes

Ontario child care centres and schools

Meanwhile, government figures show there have been a total of 1,698 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario — 946 among students and 245 among staff (507 individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 72 more cases from the previous day.

In the last 14 days, the province indicates there are 440 cases reported among students and 95 cases among staff (261 individuals were not identified) — totaling 796 cases.

The COVID-19 cases are currently from 514 out of 4,828 schools in the province. Five schools in Ontario are currently closed as a result of positive cases, the government indicated.

There have been a total of 357 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of eight (four new child cases and four new staff cases). Out of 5,231 child care centres in Ontario, 133 currently have cases and 50 centres are closed.


© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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COVID-19 in B.C.: Surge in new cases sets another record, as Dr. Bonnie Henry warns social events may be restricted – The Georgia Straight



British Columbia is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, which may result in more restrictions being implemented in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

At today’s briefing, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province has reached a “critical time” as we enter influenza season.

As mentioned in her news release yesterday, she once again emphasized that social gatherings, including weddings and other celebrations, are directly linked to increased case numbers, resulting in clusters and outbreaks that are spreading to the healthcare system.

What they are seeing, she said for example, are events that are being planned for thirty to forty people but wind up experiencing unexpected developments, such as extra guests arriving, plans changing, or difficulties in limiting the number of attendees. At these events, she said, guests have wound up mixing and interacting, which leads to transmission.

Event organizers are also informing her that they are experiencing pressure or problems in controlling numbers of people and she added issues related to party buses and limousines are arising once again, as well as people attending multiple events with different groups of people. 

While she thanked the majority of people for doing the right thing and she recognized the importance of these social events, she also issued a warning.

“While I am reluctant to do so, if there is a major source of transmission, additional measures can and will be put in place if they’re needed,” she said.

She explained that could include adding conditions for wedding licenses, placing restrictions on numbers of people for indoor gatherings, or using other measures that would prevent large transmission events from developing.

In addition, she said they are seeing transmission related to businesses and large workplaces—in lunchrooms, carpools, and work interactions.

Accordingly, she asked employers to review their workplace safety plans as WorkSafeBC, environmental health teams, and enhanced enforcement will increase inspections in the coming weeks.

She reminded people to keep social numbers limited, with a maximum of six contacts outside immediate households.

Henry announced that there are 274 new cases (including one epi-linked case) in B.C. today.

This is the third time this week that the province has set a record for new case counts. The previous records were 174 new cases confirmed on October 19, followed by 203 new cases reported yesterday (October 21).

Active cases continue to climb for yet another consecutive day. The province is now up to 1,920 active cases—up 154 cases since yesterday.

Also once again, hospitalized cases only increased by one patient, this time to 71 people in hospital, with 24 patients in intensive care units (also once again an increase of three patients).

Public health is monitoring 4,425 people (due to exposure to confirmed cases), which an increase of 131 people from yesterday.

There aren’t any new community outbreaks.

Although Henry didn’t announce any new healthcare outbreaks during the briefing, one new healthcare outbreak—at the Dr. Al Hogg Pavilion (15521 Russell Avenue) at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock—was later announced in her daily news release.

The outbreak at the Weinberg Residence Senior Home in Vancouver has been declared over.

Active outbreaks are now in 20 healthcare facilities (18 longterm care facilities and two intensive care units). There have been 950 cases (546 residents and 404 staff) involved in healthcare outbreaks during the pandemic.

With no new deaths announced, the death toll remains at 256 people who have died during the pandemic.

A cumulative total of 10,114 people (82 percent of all cases) are now considered recovered.

During the pandemic, there has been a cumulative total of 12,331 cases reported in B.C., including:

  • 6,725 in Fraser Health;
  • 4,260 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
  • 644 in Interior Health;
  • 365 in Northern Health;
  • 249 in Island Health;
  • 88 people from outside Canada.
École de l’Anse-au-sable in Kelowna

The province declared its first outbreak at a school—at at École de l’Anse-au-sable (675 Lequime Road) in Kelowna—yesterday.

In this outbreak, Henry said that three cases were identified yesterday but that number has grown to a total of five cases today, with 160 people at home in self-isolation.

The cases are unlinked transmissions within the school, which Henry explained means that how these individuals contracted COVID-19 (or identifying which individuals transmitted the virus to other individuals) remains to be determined during the ongoing health investigation.

Henry pointed out that with over 2,000 schools in the province, there have been 213 exposures events in schools, which includes six clusters. (She explained that clusters defined as more than one person, who has been exposed, has been confirmed with COVID-19 within a school.)

She said that approximately one-third of cases have been among staff while two-thirds have been among students, and the majority have been in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions, which have the largest numbers of schools and students.

She also pointed out that the majority of the exposure events in schools have not led to transmission to anyone else testing positive.

École Anne-Hébert Elementary School in Vancouver

Vancouver Coastal Health added two schools with new exposures, both in Vancouver:

  • John Henderson Elementary (451 E 53rd Avenue) had an exposure on October 13;
  • École Anne-Hébert Elementary School (7051 Killarney Street) had exposures on October 15 and 16.

Meanwhile, Fraser Health added eight schools with new exposure events.

In Burnaby, Lakeview Elementary (7777 Mayfield Street) had exposures from October 13 to 14.

In Coquitlam, École Banting Middle School (820 Banting Street) had exposures from October 13 to 14.

in Surrey, Senator Reid Elementary (9341 126th Street) had an exposure on October 13.

In Port Moody, Port Moody Secondary (300 Albert Street) had an exposure on October 13.

In Langley, two schools were added:

  • Dorothy Peacock Elementary (20292 91a Avenue) had an exposure on October 9;
  • Langley Secondary School (21405 56th Avenue) had exposures from October 13 to 15.

In Abbotsford, two schools were added:

  • Mountain Elementary (2299 Mountain Drive) had an exposure event from October 6 to 8;
  • Dave Kandal Elementary (3351 Crestview Avenue) had exposures on October 15 and 16.

Island Health reported its second exposure incident in a school, which is also in Port Alberni: Wood Elementary (4111 Wood Avenue) in Port Alberni, with an exposure on October 19. (The only previous exposure in a school on Vancouver Island was at Alberni District School in Port Alberni on September 14, 15, 17, 18, and 22).

Dorothy Peacock Elementary in Langley

Sobeys announced on October 21 that an employee at Safeway (2315 West 4th Avenue) in Kitsilano in Vancouver, who last worked at the location on October 18, has tested positive.

Fraser Health has listed an exposure event at the Jolly Coachman Pub (19167 Ford Road) in Pitt Meadows from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from October 9 to 11; 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on October 12; and 5 to 11 p.m. on October 14.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added these three flights confirmed with COVID-19 to its list:

  • October 14: WestJet 637, Calgary to Abbotsford, affected rows 9 to 15;
  • October 16: Lufthansa 492, Frankfurt to Vancouver, affected rows 18 to 24;
  • October 19: Air Canada 8484, Vancouver to Edmonton, affected rows 7 to 13.

Anyone in the affected rows should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days from the flight date and if you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and call 811 (if in B.C.) or your local healthcare provider for testing information.


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COVID-19 in B.C.: 14 new exposures in Metro Vancouver schools, workplace and wedding outbreaks, and more –



One day after B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry warned new restrictions could be coming due increased cases from weddings and workplaces, regional health authorities issued notifications about public exposure incidents or outbreaks related to both of those situations.

Meanwhile, new case numbers remain above the 200-case mark, active and monitored cases are still increasing, there are two new healthcare outbreaks, and new exposure events at 14 schools in the Lower Mainland.

While today’s count is lower than yesterday’s record high of 274 new cases, it is higher than the previous record of 203 new cases set a day before on October 21.

Henry and B.C. Deputy Health Minister Stephen Brown announced in a joint statement that there are 223 new cases (including five epi-linked cases) today.

For yet another consecutive day, active cases rose, this time up 89 cases to 2,009 active cases.

Hospitalized cases increased by four people to 75 patients, with 24 of those patients (the same number as yesterday) in intensive care units.

The number of people public health is monitoring continues to grow—an increase of 212 people from yesterday to 4,637 people today.

Unfortunately, Fraser Health declared outbreaks at two healthcare facilities after individual staff members tested positive at these locations:

• Laurel Place (9688 137a Street) in Surrey;

• Fair Haven Homes Burnaby Lodge (7557 Sussex Avenue) in Burnaby.

The good news is that Fraser Health has declared outbreaks at the following facilities as over:

• PICS Assisted Living;

• Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre;

• Chartwell Carrington House Retirement Residence;

• Thornebridge Gardens Retirement Residence.

Active outbreaks remain in 18 healthcare facilities—16 longterm care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities.

At yesterday’s briefing, Henry had warned that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of cases linked to workplaces. Today, Fraser Health announced that there are two new community outbreaks at two facilities (both of which have been ordered closed):

• Coast Spas Manufacturing (6315 202nd Street) in Langley, where 12 employees have tested positive;

• Pace Processing, a food processing facility (19495 55th Avenue) in Surrey, where 10 employees tested positive.

Thankfully, no new deaths were announced. The total number of deaths remain at 256 people who have died during the pandemic.

A total of 10,247 people have now recovered.

A cumulative total of 12,554 cases have been confirmed in B.C. during the pandemic, including:

• 6,864 cases in Fraser Health;

• 4,319 in Vancouver Coastal Health;

• 662 in Interior Health;

• 371 in Northern Health;

• 250 in the Island Health;

• 88 people from outside Canada.

Saint St. Grill 

At yesterday’s briefing, Henry also raised concerns about a heightened number of cases linked to social gatherings such as weddings, celebrations, and funerals.

Today, Fraser Health added an exposure event that took place at wedding events held at Lake Errock and Saint St. Grill (2514 St Johns Street) in Port Moody from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on October 10. In a statement on social media, the restaurant stated that they were informed that three people had tested positive. 

Loblaw announced that two of its stores had employees who tested positive:

  • Real Canadian Superstore (19800 Lougheed Highway) in Pitt Meadows—the employee last worked there on October 19;
  • Shoppers Drug Mart (2121 Trans-Canada Highway) in Kamloops—the employee last worked there on October 18.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control added only one flight confirmed with COVID-19 to its list today: Air Canada flight 8187 from Vancouver to Fort St. John on October 15.

If you were in rows 2 to 6 on this flight, you should monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days. If you develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and call 811 (if in B.C.) or your local healthcare provider for testing information.

Point Grey Secondary
Point Grey Secondary

Vancouver Coastal Health added new exposure events at six schools to its list.

In Vancouver, new exposures took place at three schools:

  • Point Grey Secondary School (5350 East Boulevard) had an exposure on October 16;
  • Ideal Mini School (855 West 59th Avenue) also on October 16;
  • Sir James Douglas Elementary School (2150 Brigadoon Avenue) on October 20.

In North Vancouver, Handsworth Secondary School (1044 Edgewood Road), which previously had exposures from October 13 to 14, added October 20 as an exposure date.

In Richmond, two schools had new exposures:

  • H.J. Cambie Secondary School (4151 Jacombs Road) had exposures from October 13 to 16, and on October 19;
  • Pythagoras Academy (8671 Odlin Crescent) from October 13 to 14.

Meanwhile, Fraser Health had new exposure incidents at eight schools.

In Coquitlam, Centennial Secondary (570 Poirier Street) had exposures from October 15 to 16.

In Langley, Belmont Elementary (20390 40th Avenue) had an exposure event from October 13 to 15.

Princess Margaret Secondary
Princess Margaret Secondary

In Surrey, there were new exposure events at six schools that all have had previous exposure events:

• Khalsa Secondary—Old Yale Road campus (10589 124th Street) had previous exposure events from September 9 and 10 and September 30 to October 2, had its third exposure event from October 13 to 15;

Princess Margaret Secondary (12870 72nd Avenue), which previously had an exposure on September 11, had additional exposures on October 12, 15, and 16;

Queen Elizabeth Elementary School (4102 West 16th Avenue West), which previously had exposures on September 14 and October 13, has added exposure dates of October 14 to 16, 19, 21, and 22;

Tamanawis Secondary School (12600 66 Avenue), which previously had incidents on September 17 and 30 and October 2 and 6, has had further exposures from October 13 to 14;

W.E. Kinvig Elementary (13266 70b Avenue), which previously had exposures on October 6 to 9, added the additional dates of October 14 to 16;

Westerman Elementary (7626 122 Street), which previously had an exposure event from October 5 to 7, had another exposure event from October 15 to 16.

Island, Interior, and Northern Health did not add any new exposure incidents to their lists.


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