According to a retrospective study investigating the effects of marijuana use in hospitalized COPD patients, marijuana users have statistically significant lower odds of in-hospital mortality compared with non-marijuana users. The data was presented at the virtual Chest 2020 meeting.
The researchers identified more than 6 million adult patients hospitalized with COPD exacerbation between 2005-2014. Of these, 99.6% patients were without marijuana use, and 0.4% patients were admitted with marijuana use. The majority of patients with COPD without marijuana use were aged 65-79 (43%). More than 60% of patients with COPD with marijuana use were aged 50-64. Length of stay was higher in patients with COPD without marijuana use than those with marijuana use.
Noting a potential bias in the results, the researchers stated that administrative databases are prone to coding inaccuracies as they rely on the clinician’s documentation and coder’s expertise. Recreational substance use for drugs like marijuana suffer from reporting bias due to its controversial social and legal nature. They concluded that the data might have underestimated the prevalence of marijuana use.
I think the age difference between the two groups is significant as well. 10-15 year age difference alone would show a statistical difference in mortality, regardless of marijuana use!