HealthDay News — Cannabis users have increased risk of all-cause emergency department visits and hospitalizations, according to a study published online June 27 in BMJ Open Respiratory Research.
Nicholas T. Vozoris, MD, from the University of Toronto, and colleagues conducted a retrospective, population-based cohort study linking health survey and health administrative data for residents of Ontario, Canada, aged 12 to 65 years, between January 2009 and December 2015, to examine the association between cannabis use and respiratory-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Data were included for 35,114 individuals, of whom 6425 (18.3%) used cannabis in the past year. Of this group, 4807 were propensity score matched to 10,395 controls.
The researchers observed no significant difference in the odds of respiratory-related emergency department visits or hospitalizations between cannabis users and controls in the propensity score-matched cohort (odds ratio, 0.91; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.77 to 1.09). Cannabis users did have significantly increased odds of all-cause emergency department visit or hospitalization compared with controls (odds ratio, 1.22; 95% confidence interval, 1.13 to 1.31), while no significant difference was seen in terms of all-cause mortality (odds ratio, 0.99; 955 CI, 0.49 to 2.02).
“Further research is needed to confirm our findings, but our results suggest that cannabis use is associated with increased risk for serious adverse health events, and therefore, its recreational consumption in the general population should be discouraged,” the authors write.