Patients hospitalized due to an asthma exacerbation who were diagnosed with cannabis dependence appeared to have worse outcomes than those without the diagnosis, new research shows.

Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis using the 2016 and 2017 National Readmission Database. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Other outcomes of interest included 30-day readmission rates, resource utilization, and morbidity including intubation rates, prolonged invasive mechanical ventilation (>96 hours), and bronchoscopy rates.

Of the 179,771 patients hospitalized with asthma exacerbation included in the study, 6583 (3.67%) had a diagnosis of cannabis dependence. The patients in the cannabis dependence group had a mean age of 35 and were more likely to be men. In the primary study outcome, cannabis dependence was associated with greater in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.97; P <.01), higher morbidity including intubation rates (aOR, 1.51; P <.01), and higher resource utilization. Both patient groups had similar odds of 30-day readmission as well as bronchoscopy rates and lengths of stay.

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