Cannabis, Ischemic Stroke, and Transient Ischemic Attack
A Case-Control Study
Background and Purpose—There is a temporal relationship between cannabis use and stroke in case series and population-based studies.
Methods—Consecutive stroke patients, aged 18 to 55 years, who had urine screens for cannabis were compared with a cohort of control patients admitted to hospital without cardiovascular or neurological diagnoses.
Results—One hundred sixty of 218 (73%) ischemic stroke/transient ischemic attack patients had urine drug screens (100 men; mean [SD] age, 44.8 [8.7] years). Twenty-five (15.6%) patients had positive cannabis drug screens. These patients were more likely to be men (84% versus 59%; χ2: P=0.016) and tobacco smokers (88% versus 28%; χ2: P<0.001). Control urine samples were obtained from 160 patients matched for age, sex, and ethnicity. Thirteen (8.1%) control participants tested positive for cannabis. In a logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, sex, and ethnicity, cannabis use was associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke/transient ischemic attack (odds ratio, 2.30; 95% confidence interval, 1.08–5.08). However after adjusting for tobacco use, an association independent of tobacco could not be confirmed (odds ratio, 1.59; 95% confidence interval, 0.71–3.70).
Conclusions—This study provides evidence of an association between a cannabis lifestyle that includes tobacco and ischemic stroke. Further research is required to clarify whether there is an association between cannabis and stroke independent of tobacco.
Clinical Trial Registration—URL: http://www.anzctr.org.au. Unique identifier: ACTRN12610000198022
- Received March 21, 2013.
- Accepted April 18, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.