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Cannabis Use and Risk of Prevalent Asthma: Daily Dose

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Cannabis Use and Risk of Prevalent Asthma: Daily Dose / Image Credit: ©New Africa/AdobeStock
©New Africa/AdobeStock

Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.


Last week, we reported on findings from a study published in Preventive Medicine that aimed to estimate the prevalence of asthma by frequency of past-30-day cannabis use among persons in the US.

The study

Researchers tapped data from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which is conducted annually and a source of national cross-sectional data on tobacco, drug use, mental health, and related issues. The 2020 public use data file included data from 32 893 respondents aged 12 years and older.

Study variables were current asthma, current cannabis use/use in the past 30 days, current blunt use/use in the past 30 days, current cigarette smoking during the past 30 days; covariates included age, sex, income, marital status, income, and race and ethnicity.

The investigators calculated current asthma prevalence in persons with and without past 30-day cannabis use and, using logistic regression, quantified associations between use of cannabis products and current asthma before and after controlling for covariates.

The findings

The odds of current asthma were higher for participants with past 30-day use of cannabis vs those without (OR 1.43, 95% CI, 1.16-1.78; P = .001), an association that remained significant after adjusting first for sociodemographic variables (adjusted OR 1.38; 95% CI, 1.11-1.73) and then with cigarette use added (aOR 1.35; 95% CI, 1.07-1.69).

Authors' comment

“In sum, current asthma appears significantly more common among individuals ages 12 and older who report past 30 days of cannabis use in the US with findings suggestive of a dose-response relationship between frequency of cannabis use and asthma prevalence. The relative lack of impact of change in the relationship after adjusting for cigarette use and the findings show that the more frequent the use, the higher the likelihood of asthma is which is suggestive of a direct link, but by no means conclusive."

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