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Br J Psychiatry. 2009 Dec;195(6):492-7. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.109.065227.

Cannabis and suicide: longitudinal study.

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  • 1Department of Psychological Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Some studies suggest that cannabis use is associated with suicidal ideation, but no detailed longitudinal study has examined suicide as an outcome.

AIMS:

To examine the association between cannabis use and completed suicide.

METHOD:

A longitudinal study investigated 50 087 men conscripted for Swedish military service, with cannabis use measured non-anonymously at conscription. Suicides during 33 years of follow-up were identified by linkage with the National Cause of Death Register.

RESULTS:

There were 600 (1.2% of cohort) suicides or deaths from undetermined causes. Cannabis use was associated with an increased risk of suicide (crude OR for 'ever use' 1.62, 95% CI 1.28-2.07), but this association was eliminated after adjustment for confounding (adjusted OR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.65-1.20).

CONCLUSIONS:

Although there was a strong association between cannabis use and suicide, this was explained by markers of psychological and behavioural problems. These results suggest that cannabis use is unlikely to have a strong effect on risk of completed suicide, either directly or as a consequence of mental health problems secondary to its use.

PMID:
19949196
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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