217445 Decreased Prevalence of Diabetes in Marijuana Users: Data from NHANES III

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 11:24 AM - 11:42 AM

Tripathi Rajavashisth, PhD , Internal Medicine, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA
Magda Shaheen, MD, PhD, MPH , Ophthalmology, Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science, Lynwood, CA
Deyu Pan, MS , Charles Drew University, Los Angeles, CA
Satyesh Sinha, PhD , Charles Drew University, Los Angeles, CA
Juan Ortega, BS , Charles Drew University, Los Angeles, CA
Theodore Friedman, MD, PhD , Charles Drew University, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is increasing at epidemic rates and leads to significant premature morbidity and mortality. Inflammation plays significant role in DM. Data supports that cannabinoids such as marijuana are associated with decreased levels of inflammation, and could influence the prevalence of DM. Objective: To determine the association between DM and marijuana use. Methods: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III, 1988-1994) where participants were asked about marijuana use and had glycemic parameters determined. The study included four groups (n = 10,896): non-marijuana-users (61.0%), past marijuana-users (30.7%), light (1-4 times per month) current marijuana-users (5.0%) and heavy (more than 5 times per month) current marijuana-users (3.3%). DM was defined as self-reported, abnormal glycemic parameters, or taking diabetes medications. We analyzed data related to socio-demographics, co-morbidity, smoking, alcohol, laboratory values, plasma hemoglobin A1c, fasting plasma glucose level, and the serum levels of five inflammatory markers as related to past and current marijuana use. Results: Marijuana-users had a lower age-adjusted prevalence of DM compared to non-marijuana-users [odds ratio (OR) 0.42; 95% confidence interval (CI)= 0.33- 0.55]. In a multivariate model, controlling for socio-demographics, laboratory values, and co-morbidity, the lower odds of DM among marijuana users remained highly significant [adjusted OR 0.34; CI=0.23-0.51]. Conclusion: Marijuana use was independently associated with a lower prevalence of DM. These findings support the role for future studies of non-psychotropic cannabinoid receptor agonists in DM.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess the level of Marijuana use among a nationally representative sample of non-institutionalized adults aged 20 years or older. 2. Identify the age adjusted prevalence of diabetes among this population. 3. Determine the association between marijuana use and the following factors: sociodemographic factors, smoking, obesity, laboratory asseessment, inflammatory markers,and morbidity indicators 3. Determine the independent association between Marijuana use and diabetes mellitus

Keywords: Diabetes, Other Drugs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I helped in designing the study, analyzing the data, and developing the abstract and the publication
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.