Study: Marijuana Use Associated With Reduced Mortality Following Orthopedic Surgery

Marijuana use was associated with decreased mortality in patients undergoing a variety of surgical procedures, according to a study of over 9 million patients, published in the journal Substance Abuse.

“The association between marijuana use and surgical procedures is a matter of increasing societal relevance that has not been well studied in the literature”, states the study’s abstract. “The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between marijuana use and in-hospital mortality, as well as to assess associated comorbidities in patients undergoing commonly billed orthopedic surgeries.”

To do so, the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database from 2010 to 2014 was used to determine the odds ratios for the associations between marijuana use and in-hospital mortality, heart failure (HF), stroke, and cardiac disease (CD) in patients undergoing five common orthopedic procedures: hip (THA), knee (TKA), and shoulder arthroplasty (TSA), spinal fusion, and traumatic femur fracture fixation.

“Of 9,561,963 patients who underwent one of the five selected procedures in the four-year period, 26,416 (0.28%) were identified with a diagnosis of marijuana use disorder”, states researchers. “In hip and knee arthroplasty patients, marijuana use was associated with decreased odds of mortality compared to no marijuana use.” Traumatic femur fixation patients had the highest prevalence of marijuana use (0.70%), which was associated with “decreased odds of mortality, HF, and CD.” For spinal fusions, “Marijuana use in patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty “was associated with decreased odds of mortality”.

Researchers conclude by stating that; “In this study, marijuana use was associated with decreased mortality in patients undergoing THA, TKA, TSA and traumatic femur fixation, although the significance of these findings remains unclear. More research is needed to provide insight into these associations in a growing surgical population.”

The full study can be found by clicking  here.

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