Trauma patients who test positive for the presence of cannabis upon their admission to the hospital possess a decreased risk of death as compared to controls, according to data published in the journal The American Surgeon.

Researchers with the University of California, Los Angeles compared in-hospital mortality outcomes in a cohort of over 141,000 trauma patients. Consistent with other data, they reported that patients with a history of cannabis use (as documented by a positive drug screen upon admission) were less likely to die while hospitalized than were patients with similar injuries but no evidence of recent marijuana exposure. 

They concluded: “On multivariable analysis, the associated risk of mortality was lower (OR = .79) for pMS [patients with a positive marijuana screen] compared to nDS patients [those testing negative for all drugs and alcohol]. … These findings require corroboration with future prospective clinical study and basic science evaluation to ascertain the exact pathophysiologic basis and thereby target potential interventions.”

Prior observational studies have similarly reported that marijuana use is associated with a decreased risk of in-hospital mortality among patients suffering from congestive heart failurecancerCOPDpancreatitisHIVburn-related injuriestraumatic brain injuries, and various other types of severe trauma.

Full text of the study, “Marijuana use associated with decreased mortality in trauma patients,” appears in The American Surgeon.

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