Study: Poor Outcomes Linked to Cannabis Use in Patients with Cerebrovascular Diagnoses

ISC 2022

Chronic cannabis use is associated with increased perioperative morbidity and mortality among US patients admitted to the hospital for cerebrovascular diagnoses, according to a new analysis of national trends.

Researchers from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York presented their findings on February 10 at the annual International Stroke Conference, held February 9-11, 2022.

Recreational and medical cannabis use in the US has been on the rise in recent years due to state decriminalization efforts, however, its “legal status has long precluded extensive research into its adverse effects, especially as it pertains to the realm of vascular and cerebrovascular outcomes. To date, minimal research has been completed on the sequelae of cannabis in cerebrovascular hospital admissions,” wrote investigators in the study abstract.

The team searched the 2012-2015 Nationwide Inpatient Sample for patients admitted to the hospital with cerebrovascular-related ICD-9 diagnoses. Patients were grouped by the presence of concurrent diagnosis of cannabis use disorder and compared with respect to various peri- and postoperative complications, all-cause mortality, discharge disposition, length of stay, and hospitalization costs.

Overall, 900 023 patients met inclusion/exclusion criteria, of whom 7231 (0.80%) had cannabis use disorder. After researchers controlled for baseline characteristics, participants with cannabis use disorder were shown to have higher rates of inpatient mortality (odds ratio [OR], 1.99; p=0.034), and non-routine discharge.

Participants with cannabis use disorder stayed in the hospital longer than those who did not use cannabis (6.3 vs 5.9 days, p<.001). Also, there was no significant difference in hospitalization charges between the two cohorts.

“Based on a national trends analysis, chronic cannabis use appears to be associated with increased perioperative morbidity and mortality among patients admitted for cerebrovascular diagnoses,” concluded authors. “Physicians should ensure that a thorough drug use history is taken, and that affected patients be adequately informed of associated risks. Further research can elucidate further the effect on specific cerebrovascular diagnoses such as stroke and aneurysms.”


Reference: Siddiqui N, Mehta A, Fifi J, De Leacy RA. Abstract TP174: Cannabis and stroke outcomes: A national registry analysis. Stroke. 2022;53:ATP174.