Marijuana Not Linked to Increased Mortality in Ulcerative Colitis With NSTEMI

Marijuana use does not increase the risk for mortality in patients with ulcerative colitis hospitalized with NSTEMI.

Marijuana use is not associated with increased risk for death or total hospitalization charges in adults with ulcerative colitis (UC) admitted for acute non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), according to study results presented at the Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (AIBD) 2022 conference, held from December 5 to 7, 2022, in Orlando, Florida.

Managing UC symptoms with marijuana has been shown to improve abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. However, both marijuana use and UC can result in adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

Researchers conducted a retrospective study on the effects of marijuana use in patients hospitalized with NSTEMI and underlying UC. Using data from the 2016-2019 National Inpatient Sample (NIS), researchers identified 142,420,378 hospitalizations, 7010 of which involved adults aged 18 years and older admitted with comorbid UC and acute NSTEMI.

Of the 7010 individuals with comorbid UC and NSTEMI, 0.78% reported marijuana use. Marijuana users vs marijuana nonusers were younger (57.55 vs 70.58 years).

[Marijuana use] is associated with reduced LOS [length of stay] in these hospitalizations, likely due to the lower mean age resulting in quicker recovery and discharge.

When analyzing outcomes, researchers observed that 7.99% of hospitalizations resulted in fatal outcomes; however, difference in mortality between marijuana users vs marijuana nonusers was not statistically significant (9.09% vs 7.99%). Multivariate analysis showed that marijuana use was not a risk factor for death in patients with UC and acute NSTEMI (odds ratio [OR], 1.11; P =.907).

Risk factors for mortality among inpatients with UC and NSTEMI included shock (OR, 5.88; P =.00), acute kidney injury (OR, 3.44; P =.00), and the need for mechanical ventilation for longer than 24 hours (OR, 3.44; P =.00).

The researchers also investigated the effect of marijuana use on hospital resource utilization. They found that marijuana use did not associate with increased total hospital charges (-$22,557.46; P =.42). Instead, factors that raised costs during hospitalizations included treatment provided in a teaching hospital with an urban location, the onset of shock, the need for mechanical ventilation longer than 24 hours, and the need for surgical intervention, namely, coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG).

Researchers also discovered that marijuana was associated with a lower average length of hospital stay by 3.4 days (P =.02).

Higher mean length of stay was associated with the following factors: mechanical ventilation longer than 24 hours (+7.35 days; P =.00), shock (+1.72 days; P =.01), ventricular arrhythmias (+1.90 days; P =.02), end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis (+5.20 days; P =.04), acute kidney injury (+2.11 days; P =.00), CABG (+5.62 days; P =.000), anemia (+1.09 days; P =.02), and elixhauser comorbidity (+0.48 days; P =.00).

“Marijuana is not associated with increase in mortality or total charges of hospitalization in UC patients admitted for acute NSTEMI,” the study authors wrote. “Additionally, it is associated with reduced LOS [length of stay] in these hospitalizations, likely due to the lower mean age resulting in quicker recovery and discharge.”

This article originally appeared on Gastroenterology Advisor.


Watts A, Jalal A, Bhagat U, et al. Impact of marijuana in ulcerative colitis with NSTEMI hospitalizations: Insights from National Inpatient Sample 2016-2019. Abstract presented at: AIBD 2022; December 5-7, 2022; Orlando, FL. Abstract 11.