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Cannabis use and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: a Mendelian randomization study

BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2023 Dec 13;23(1):611. doi: 10.1186/s12872-023-03641-w.


BACKGROUND: Association between cannabis use and development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is inconsistent and challenging to interpret, given existing study limitations.

METHODS: Sixty five independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), obtained from a genome-wide association study on lifetime cannabis use, were employed as genetic instruments to estimate the effects of genetically indexed cannabis use on risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and acute ischemic stroke (IS) using a two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) approach. Summary statistics on CAD (CARDIoGRAMplusC4D; 60,801 cases and 123,504 controls) and IS (MEGASTROKE; 34,217 cases and 406,111 controls) were obtained separately. A comprehensive review of the observational literature on cannabis use and CAD or IS was also performed and contrasted with MR results.

RESULTS: There was no causal effect of cannabis use on the risk of CAD (odds ratio (OR) per ever-users vs. never-users 0.93; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.83 to 1.03) or IS (OR 1.05; 95%CI, 0.93 to 1.19). Sensitivity analyses yielded similar results, and no heterogeneity and directional pleiotropy was observed. Our meta-analysis of observational studies showed no significant association between ever use of cannabis with risk of CAD (k = 6 studies; ORpooled = 1.23, 95%CI 0.78 to 1.69), nor with IS (k = 6 studies; ORpooled = 1.22, 95%CI 0.95 to 1.50).

CONCLUSION: Using a genetic approach approximating a clinical trial does not provide evidence consistent with a causal effect of genetic predisposition to cannabis use on CAD or IS development. Further studies are needed to replicate our findinds, an to investigate more precisely the risk of ASCVD in relation to the quantity, type, route of administration, or the age at exposure to cannabis.

PMID:38093188 | DOI:10.1186/s12872-023-03641-w

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