Cannabis Use Tied to Risk of COVID-19 Hospitalizations, ICU Admissions

Findings even after considering cigarette smoking, vaccination status, comorbidities, and other risk factors
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

TUESDAY, June 25, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Current cannabis use may be an independent risk factor for COVID-19–related complications, according to a study published online June 21 in JAMA Network Open.

Nicholas B. Griffith, from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues examined whether cannabis and tobacco use are associated with adverse health outcomes in patients with COVID-19 when accounting for known risk factors. Analysis included 72,501 patients with COVID-19.

The researchers found that 13.4 percent of patients had current smoking, and 9.7 percent had current use of cannabis. There was a significant association seen between current tobacco smoking and increased risk of hospitalization (odds ratio [OR], 1.72), intensive care unit (ICU) admission (OR, 1.22), and all-cause mortality (OR, 1.37) in adjusted analysis. Similarly, cannabis use was significantly associated with increased risk of hospitalization (OR, 1.80) and ICU admission (OR, 1.27). However, cannabis use was not associated with all-cause mortality when adjusting for tobacco smoking, vaccination, comorbidity, diagnosis date, and demographic factors.

"These findings suggest the need to evaluate the potential impact of cannabis use on COVID-19 outcomes given the growing legalized use of cannabis," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties the pharmaceutical industry; one author has a patent for "Markers for Addiction."

Abstract/Full Text

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