Student’s Article on Marijuana Risks is Among Most Downloaded

A University of Miami Miller School of Medicine epidemiology Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Public Health Sciences was recently recognized by academic publisher Routledge for having one of the top three most downloaded articles published in their Health & Social Care journals in 2014.

Denise Vidot’s article “Emerging Issues for our Nation’s Health: The Intersection of Marijuana Use and Cardiometabolic Disease Risk” was published last April in the Journal of Addictive Diseases. The article highlights key research data showing that marijuana use can lead to elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and obesity, among other poor health outcomes.

“It was a timely article,” said Vidot, referring to the national debate on legalizing medical marijuana. “Right now marijuana is a hot topic and the associated health risks are less known since there’s very minimal research in this area.”

Vidot collaborated on the article with faculty co-authors from the departments of Public Health Sciences and Pediatrics and says the team effort played a vital role in the article’s success. Co-authors include Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D., associate professor of public health and epidemiology; WayWay M. Hlaing, Ph.D., M.B.B.S., M.S., associate professor and Director of the Ph.D. in Epidemiology program; Kris Arheart, Ph.D., associate professor of public health; and Sarah E. Messiah, Ph.D., M.P.H., research associate professor of pediatrics and public health sciences.

Vidot, who began her studies at the Miller School of Medicine in 2012, has made several presentations on the adverse health effects of marijuana use. She expects to graduate in December and plans to focus her career on addiction.

“This is a terrific honor for Denise,” said Hlaing, noting that both marijuana use and obesity are on the rise in the U.S.

“With current legalization of marijuana in some states, its use as a contributing factor to obesity or related diseases becomes more important,” she said. “Denise’s work is a major contribution in the substantive areas of both substance use and obesity.”

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