By Mark Cowen
MedWire News: Study results suggest that cannabis use is associated with decreased all-cause mortality risk in patients with schizophrenia.
Further research is warranted to “shed light on the anti-inflammatory properties of the endocannabinoid system and its role in decreased mortality in people with psychotic disorders,” say Maju Mathew Koola (University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA) and colleagues.
The findings come from a study of 762 patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or psychosis not otherwise specified who were aged between 18 and 55 years.
Data on cannabis and alcohol use were gathered from the patients’ medical charts and compared with mortality rates over a 4‑10 year period using the Social Security Death Index.
Overall, 295 patients were regular or frequent cannabis users and 478 were regular or frequent consumers of alcohol.
There was no significant difference in Global Assessment of Functioning scores between cannabis users and nonusers, or between alcohol users and nonusers, the researchers note.
In total, 62 patients died during the follow-up period.
After accounting for age, gender, and smoking status, the researchers found that cannabis users had a significantly lower risk for all-cause mortality than nonusers, at a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.5.
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