Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Lower Mortality Among Pancreatitis Patients

Miami, FL: Acute pancreatitis (AP) patients with a history of cannabis use have lower hospitalization costs and possess lower rates of in-patient mortality than do those without exposure to the substance, according to data published in the journal Pancreas.

Researchers with the University of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine assessed the impact of cannabis exposure on AP-related mortality, morbidity, and cost of care. Health records of over 2.8 million subjects with AP were analyzed for the study.

Investigators reported, "[T]he cannabis-exposed group had significantly lower in-patient mortality compared with the non-cannabis group. … Cannabis-exposed patients also had decreased length of stay."

They concluded, "Cannabis-exposed hospitalized patients with AP had lower age-adjusted, mortality, morbidity, and hospitalization-cost than non-cannabis-exposed patients."

The findings are consistent with prior studies reporting that a history of past cannabis use is associated with reduced in-hospital mortality among patients admitted for heart attacks, traumatic brain injuries, burn-related injuries, and those hospitalized with other forms of severe trauma.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, "The impact of cannabis consumption on mortality, morbidity, and cost in acute pancreatitis patients in the United States: A 10-Years analysis of the National Inpatient Sample," appears in Pancreas.