Researchers find possible link between marijuana, HCV
HONOLULU — Any use of marijuana was found to be associated with a positive hepatitis C antibody serum test, according to a poster presentation at ACG 2015.
Akeem O. Adebogun, MD, MPH, of Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC, and colleagues extracted and analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 7,821 patients with HCV between 2011 and 2012. The goal was to determine if there is any association between the use of marijuana and hepatitic C.
Akeem O. Adebogun
Of these patients, 49.9% were men (median age, 34 years). The population sample were tested for serum hepatitis C antibody. In addition, patient responses to questions regarding drug use on the survey were included and evaluated.
Then, using SPSS statistical software, the researchers performed a logistic regression analysis to measure the relationship between marijuana use and a positive serum hepatitis C antibody test.
Univariate analysis showed that ever using marijuana was associated with a positive serum hepatitis C antibody test (OR = 4.8; P < .001). However, multivariate analysis showed that ever using marijuana was not significantly associated with a positive serum hepatitis C antibody test (OR = 1.46; P = .377), after adjusting for ever using cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine.
“The apparent association seen between marijuana use and a positive hepatitis C status in the univariate analysis is driven by the use of other drugs, as that association disappears in the multivariate analysis while adjusting for the use of other drugs,” Adebogun told Healio Gastroenterology. “This is consistent with marijuana being a gateway drug.”
Adebogun concluded: “It will be interesting to see what role marijuana would play as a factor in the incidence of hepatitis C in an environment where marijuana use is legal.” – by Melinda Stevens
Adebogun A, et al. Abstract P1107. Presented at: ACG; Oct. 16-21, 2015; Honolulu.
Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.