Study Finds No Link Between Marijuana Use and Kidney Function

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No significant association found between marijuana use and change in estimated glomerular filtration rate or development of albuminuria.
No significant association found between marijuana use and change in estimated glomerular filtration rate or development of albuminuria.

Marijuana use is not associated with decreased renal function in healthy young adults, researchers reported online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

In a study using data from 3765 participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, 3131 (83%) reported past or current marijuana use. Over the following 10 years, 504 individuals experienced rapid decline in estimated glomerular filtration (eGFR) rate as measured using cystatin C, and over the following 15 years, albuminuria developed in 426. Multivariable analysis showed that marijuana use was not significantly associated with eGFR change, rapid eGFR decline, or prevalent albuminuria.

In a press release from the American Society of Nephrology, which publishes CJASN, lead investigator Julie H. Ishida, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, said the results “may not translate into a clinically meaningful difference and may be insufficient to inform decision-making concerning marijuana use.” It is possible, she said, that the association between marijuana use and kidney function could be different in other populations, such as older adults or patients with kidney disease, so additional research is needed.

Reference

Ishida JH, Auer R, Vittinghoff E, et al. Marijuana use and estimated glomerular filtration rate in young adults. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2017; published online ahead of print. doi: 10.2215/CJN.01530217

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