Cannabis use in cancer patients halves risk of death in hospital

Cannabis use was associated with a 59% reduced risk of death in hospital. For cancer patients, the risk of dying in hospital was 56% lower in cannabis users than non-users. This is the result of an analysis of hospital patients in the US Nationwide Inpatient Sample database between 2007 and 2011, which covers about 1,000 hospitals , by researchers from the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University, and the University of Alabama, USA. The database included about 3.9 million hospital patients, of whom 387,608 had a diagnosis of cannabis dependence or cannabis abuse.

The research showed that amongst hospitalized patients, cannabis use was associated with a 60% increased odds of stroke (OR: 1.60, 95% CI: 1.44-1.77) compared with non-users, but 22% lower odds of heart failure (OR: 0.78, 95% CI: 0.75-0.82) and 14% lower incidence of cardiac disease (OR: 0.86, 95% CI: 0.82-0.91). The risk for in-hospital mortality was reduced by 59% (OR: 0.41, 95% CI: 0.38-0.44). Among cancer patients, odds of in-hospital mortality was significantly reduced by 56% among cannabis users compared with non-users (OR: 0.44, 95% CI: 0.35-0.55). The authors of the research wrote that “prospective studies will be needed to better characterize the health effects of marijuana use, especially among older, sicker, and/or hospitalized patients.” The conclusion, therefore, is that cannabis users do not die as frequently in hospital, but at home.

Post Author: IACM

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