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Cannabis consumption and the risk of psychosis

  • Autori: Mulè, A; Sideli, L; Colli, G; Ferraro, L; La Cascia, C; Sartorio, C; Seminerio, F; Tripoli, G; Di Forti, M; La Barbera, D; Murray, R
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2017
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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Summary Objectives: Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug globally and its use has been linked to an increased risk for psychotic disorders. An association between cannabis consumption and psychotic symptoms was consistently reported by several studies. This case-control study aimed to widen the current findings about the impact of cannabis exposure on the risk of psychosis, by investigating the pattern of cannabis consumption in a sample of first-episode of psychosis (FEP) patients compared to healthy controls. Material and methods: 68 individuals who presented for the first time to mental health services of Palermo (Italy) with an ICD-10 diagnosis of psychotic disorders and 74 healthy were enrolled as part of the Sicilian Genetics and Psychosis study. Psychopathological assessment and diagnosis were carried out by the Schedule for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN). Socio-demographic data were collected by the modified version of the Medical Research Council (MRC) socio-demographic scale. All participants were interviewed using the Cannabis Experience Questionnaire – Modified Version to obtain a detailed assessment of lifetime patterns of cannabis and other illicit drug consumption. Logistic regression was applied to investigate the relationships between various aspects of cannabis use (lifetime use, age at first use, duration, and frequency of use) and case-control status while controlling for potential confounders. Results: Patients started cannabis consumption about 3 years earlier than the control group (t = 3.1, p = 0.002) and were 8 times more likely to having started using cannabis before 15 years (adjusted OR = 8.0, 95% CI 2.4-27) than controls. Furthermore cases were more likely to smoke more frequently than controls (adjusted OR = 4.4, 95% CI 1.08-18). We did not find a difference in duration of cannabis use between cases and controls. Conclusions: The findings suggest that cannabis exposure, and especially daily cannabis consumption, is associated with the risk for psychosis; however, the retrospective study design does not allow drawing firm conclusions about causality.