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scientific articles

Marijuana Use and Health Behaviors in a US Clinic Sample of Patients With Sickle Cell Disease

key information

source: PloS One

year: 2020

authors: J. Deanna Wilson, Lydia H. Pecker, Sophie Lanzkron, Shawn M. Bediako, Dingfen Han, Mary Catherine Beach


As marijuana use becomes more common, it is essential clinicians understand the relationship between marijuana use and health behaviors.

Using a retrospective cohort of adolescents and adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) stratified into a young (<25 years) and older cohort (> = 25 years), we conducted multiple linear regression examining relationship of marijuana use (independent variable) on each dependent variable (SCD self-management score and pain management).

Among young cohort, 16.9% used marijuana compared to 21.8% of older cohort. The younger cohort reporting marijuana use had lower mean self-care scores (β = -2.74;p = 0.009) and were more likely to have admissions to the hospital for pain (β = 0.87;p = 0.047) compared to non-users. In contrast, the older cohort reporting marijuana use had more days treating pain at home (β = 0.44;p = 0.035).

Only a minority of patients with SCD reported lifetime marijuana use. Among those reporting marijuana use, there were different associations with self-care and health-related behaviors by age. The older cohort who endorsed marijuana use reported more days of treating pain at home, although this did not translate into increased acute care visits for pain crisis. Among youth, endorsing marijuana use was associated with worse SCD self-care.

organization: University of Pittsburgh, USA; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA; University of Maryland, USA

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0235192

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