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Cureus. 2018 Aug 23;10(8):e3195. doi: 10.7759/cureus.3195.

Primary Causes of Hospitalizations and Procedures, Predictors of In-hospital Mortality, and Trends in Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Events Among Recreational Marijuana Users: A Five-year Nationwide Inpatient Assessment in the United States.

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Division of Cardiology, Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Decatur, USA.
Family Medicine, Dekalb Medical Centre, Atlanta, USA.
Medicine, Avalon University School of Medicine, Willemstad, CUW.
Department of Internal Medicine and Psychiatry, Florida International University, Miami, USA.
Division of Psychiatry, Chicago Lakeshore Hospital, Illinois, USA.
Department of Psychiatry, Smolensk State Medical University, Smolensk, RUS.
Neurology, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, USA.
New York University, New York, USA.
Psychiatry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Odessa, Midland, USA.
Neurology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA.


Background Recent trends in the legalization of marijuana in many states are increasing the popularity of recreational marijuana use. Since current data on hospitalizations in marijuana users is sparse, we evaluated the primary reasons for admissions, procedures and associated healthcare burden in hospitalized recreational marijuana users. Methods The National Inpatient Sample (NIS) for the years 2010-2014 was queried for the hospitalizations with a history of recreational marijuana usage using applicable ICD-9 CM codes. Descriptive statistics were used to report frequency (N) and percentage (%). Discharge weights were applied to achieve national estimates. The predictors of in-hospital mortality in recreational marijuana users were assessed using a two-way hierarchical multivariate regression after adjusting for the confounders. Results  We analyzed 465,959 (weighted n=2,317,343) hospitalizations with a history of recreational marijuana use. Among psychiatric disorders, most prominent primary discharge diagnoses were mood disorders (20.6%), schizophrenia/other psychotic disorders (10.6%), and substance/alcohol-related disorders (10.4%). Suicide and intentional self-inflicted injury (3.6%) was the leading cause of emergency admission. The most common non-psychiatric primary discharge diagnoses were diabetes mellitus with chronic complications (2.2%), acute myocardial infarction (AMI) (1.2%), nonspecific chest pain (1.1%), congestive cardiac failure (CHF) (1%), arrhythmia (0.8%), and hypertension (0.8%). Acute cerebrovascular diseases were noted in 1.1% and epilepsy in 1.8% of patients. Alcohol/drug rehabilitation and detoxification (6.9%) and psychiatric evaluation/therapy (3.9%) were the most evident psychiatric procedures whereas most frequent non-psychiatric procedures were diagnostic coronary arteriography (1%), percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (0.7%), and echocardiogram (0.7%). Top independent predictors of in-hospital mortality were coagulopathy (OR 5.94), AMI (OR 4.59), pulmonary circulation disorder (OR 2.95), CHF (OR 2.02), renal failure (OR 1.91), coronary atherosclerosis (OR 1.34) and peripheral vascular disorder (OR 1.31). Major cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events also showed increasing trends among users. Conclusion We established the most frequent psychiatric and non-psychiatric causes of admissions and procedures in recreational marijuana users, which may pose a significant healthcare burden and increase the odds of in-hospital mortality.


cannabis; cardiovascular diseases; cerebrovascular disease; comorbidities; complications; in-hospital mortality; length of stay; marijuana legalization; procedures; recreational marijuana

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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