Cannabis use disorder and increased risk of arrhythmia-related hospitalization in young adults

Rikinkumar S. Patel, Mario D. Gonzalez, Temitope Ajibawo, Raman Baweja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Recent observations indicate that cannabis use can result in cardiovascular complications including arrhythmias. We studied the relationship between cannabis use disorder (CUD) and arrhythmia hospitalization. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2010–2014). Patients (age 15–54) with a primary diagnosis for arrhythmia (N = 570,556) were compared with non-arrhythmia (N = 67,662,082) inpatients for odds ratio (OR) of CUD by the logistic regression model, adjusted for demographics and comorbid risk factors. Results: The incidence of CUD in arrhythmia inpatients was 2.6%. Among cannabis users, the most prevalent arrhythmia was atrial fibrillation (42%), followed by other arrhythmias (24%) and atrial flutter (8%). Patients with CUD were younger (15–24 years, OR: 4.23), male (OR: 1.70), and African American (OR: 2.70). CUD was associated with higher odds of arrhythmia hospitalization in the young population, 1.28 times in 15–24 years (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.229–1.346) and 1.52 times in 25–34 years (95% CI: 1.469–1.578). Conclusion and Scientific Significance: With the growing legalization in the United States, there is an increased use of medicinal/recreational cannabis. This is the first national study to our knowledge that found that CUD is associated with a 47%–52% increased likelihood of arrhythmia hospitalization in the younger population and the risk of association was controlled for potential confounders including other substances. The fact that atrial fibrillation is the most prevalent arrhythmia is of special concern since it can result in stroke and other embolic events. Physicians need to familiarize themselves with cannabis abuse or dependence as a risk factor for arrhythmia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-584
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Volume30
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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