MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tara Dutta M.D.
Vascular Neurology Fellow
University of Maryland Medical Center
MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?
We analyzed data from the Stroke Prevention in Young Adults Study in order to evaluate for an association between self-reported marijuana use and ischemic stroke. 1,101 cases and 1,154 age, gender, and race-matched controls, aged 15-49 years old, were recruited from the greater Baltimore-Washington area between 1992 and 2008. Interviews were conducted to assess for various potential stroke risk factors, including illicit drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. Individuals reporting use of vasoactive illicit drugs, including cocaine and amphetamines, were excluded, yielding 751 cases and 813 controls. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association between marijuana use and ischemic stroke, adjusting for age, gender, race, current tobacco use, current alcohol use, hypertension, and diabetes.
We did not find a positive association between marijuana
use and ischemic stroke risk in our population of young-onset stroke patients compared to matched controls, even after controlling for current tobacco and alcohol use, hypertension, and diabetes. A statistically significant inverse relationship was observed between remote use (defined as any use over one year ago) and stroke risk (adjusted OR 0.77, CI 0.61-0.98, p = 0.03). We also looked to see whether recent use (in the past 30 days), and particularly recent heavy use, was associated with ischemic stroke
risk as has been suggested in the medical literature. Though our data did not show this association, the number of patients reporting recent use in our study was very small.