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Schizophr Res. 2011 Jun;129(1):52-6. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2011.03.023. Epub 2011 Apr 17.

Cannabis use disorder and age at onset of psychosis--a study in first-episode patients.

Author information

  • 1University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Bern, Switzerland. bschimme@aol.com

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Age at onset of psychosis (AAO) may be younger in patients with cannabis use disorders (CUD) compared to those without CUD (NCUD). Previous studies included CUD co-morbid with other substance use disorders (SUD), and many did not control for confounders.

METHODS:

Controlling for relevant confounders, differences in AAO between patients with and without CUD excluding those with any other SUD were analyzed in a large representative file audit of 625 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients (age 14 to 29years) admitted to the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

RESULTS:

Three quarters of the 625 FEP patients had a CUD. Cannabis use started before psychosis onset in 87.6% of patients. AAO was not significantly different between CUD (without other SUD, n=201) and NCUD (n=157). However, AAO was younger in those with early CUD (starting age 14 or younger) compared to NCUD (F(1)=5.2; p=0.024; partial η(2)=0.026). Earlier age at onset of cannabis use predicted earlier age at onset of psychosis (β=-0.49, R(2)-change=0.25, p<0.001).

CONCLUSION:

Only CUD starting age 14 or younger was associated with an earlier AAO at a small effect size. These findings suggest that CUD may exert an indirect effect on brain maturation resulting in earlier AAO potentially only in cannabis sensitive subjects.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21498049
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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