31 Aug Heavy Marijuana Use May Harm Kidneys, But More Study Needed
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Julie H. Ishida MD
Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine
San Francisco and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
University of California
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Marijuana is becoming increasingly accepted in the United States, and animal studies suggest that marijuana could affect kidney function. However, data in humans are limited to case reports of acute kidney injury related to synthetic cannabinoid use and small cohort studies of relatively short duration.
Among 3,765 participants with normal kidney function in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults or CARDIA study, my colleagues and I found that higher marijuana use was associated with lower kidney function at the start of the our study. However, we did not find that marijuana was associated with change in kidney function or albuminuria, which is a sign of kidney damage, over long-term follow-up.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: Our findings were largely negative and are not sufficient to inform decision-making concerning marijuana use with respect to kidney health. Also, our study was observational, so the results should be interpreted with caution. However, we found that heavy marijuana use may be harmful, and additional investigation about the potential impact of marijuana use on kidney function is needed.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: We studied a cohort of young adults with normal kidney function, and it is possible that the association could be different among older adults or patients with kidney disease, so further research within these populations would be valuable.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: I would like to acknowledge that our work was supported by grants from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and that our data were supplied by the CARDIA Study. The authors do not have any disclosures to report.
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