Cannabis Use Disorder in Patients With Gastroparesis Associated With Better Hospitalization Outcomes

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Researchers examined the clinical outcomes of patients hospitalized with gastroparesis who used cannabis.

Patients with gastroparesis and a history of cannabis use disorder have a lower income and are younger but also have generally better clinical and health care-associated outcomes than those without cannabis use disorder, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.

Investigators assessed comorbid conditions and demographic, socioeconomic, and health-related outcomes of patients hospitalized for gastroparesis with and without a history of cannabis use disorder. Data were obtained from the US National Inpatient Sample (NIS) for admissions regarding gastroparesis diagnosis from 2008 to 2014.

Patients with a diagnosis of gastroparesis were identified based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) and were then classified by whether they had a history of cannabis use disorder with ICD-9-CM codes.

Researchers identified a total of 1,473,363 patients (aged ≥18 years) with gastroparesis, including 33,085 (2.25%) with a history of cannabis use disorder and 1,440,278 (97.75%) without. Of these patients, 112,091 had a principal discharge diagnosis of gastroparesis.

Patients who were diagnosed with gastroparesis and cannabis use disorder were significantly younger (36.7±18.8 vs 51.9±16.8 years; P <.001), more likely to be male (52.9% vs 33.5%; P <.001), and more likely to be Black (38.9% vs 25.9%; P <.001). Patients with gastroparesis and cannabis use disorder had fewer comorbidities and lower Charlson Comorbidity Index scores compared with those without cannabis use disorder (1.8±1.7 vs 2.9±2.2; P <.001).

Patients with gastroparesis and cannabis use disorder also had a lower in-hospital mortality rate (0.1% vs 0.9%; P <.001), a shorter hospital stay (3.7±3.3 vs 5.5±6.5 days; P <.001), and a lower cost of stay overall ($24,548±28,915 vs $38,708±58,351; P <.001), compared with those without cannabis use disorder.

Logistic regression analysis controlling for multiple factors showed that routine discharge to home occurred more frequently for patients with gastroparesis and cannabis use disorder (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.24; 95% CI, 1.20-1.28; P <.001), with decreased length of hospital stay (aOR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.34-0.39; P <.001), and reduced in-hospital mortality (aOR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.34-0.39; P <.001).

Participants with gastroparesis and cannabis use disorder had a higher proportion of alcohol use disorder, depression, and psychoses.

The researchers noted that it was not possible to analyze information regarding longer-term outcomes that could significantly affect admission patterns, socioeconomic status, or health-related outcomes. Other study limitations included the potential for ICD-9-CM coding bias and the inability to generalize the results to an outpatient setting.

“Further study into qualitative and longitudinal outcomes of patients with cannabis use disorder who are discharged following hospitalization for gastroparesis would help better shine a light on this worsening issue,” the researchers wrote.

Disclosure: Some of the study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


McCarty TR, Chouairi F, Hathorn KE, Chan WW, Thompson CC. Trends and socioeconomic health outcomes of cannabis use among patients with gastroparesis: a United States nationwide inpatient sample analysis. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2022;56(4):324-330. doi:10.1097/MCG.0000000000001526

This article originally appeared on Gastroenterology Advisor