Marijuana use and risk of prediabetes and diabetes by middle adulthood: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study

Michael P. Bancks, Mark J. Pletcher, Stefan G. Kertesz, Stephen Sidney, Jamal S. Rana, Pamela J. Schreiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Aims/hypothesis: The impact of marijuana use on metabolic health is largely unknown. This study sought to clarify the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between self-reported marijuana use, and prediabetes (defined as fasting glucose 5.6–6.9 mmol/l, 2 h glucose post OGTT 7.8–11.0 mmol/l or HbA1c 5.7–6.4% [39–47 mmol/mol]) and diabetes. Methods: Data from the community-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study were used to determine marijuana use and the presence of prediabetes and diabetes among participants. The association between marijuana use and the prevalence of prediabetes and diabetes was examined in 3,034 participants at CARDIA examination year 25 (2010–2011), while the incidence of prediabetes and diabetes according to previous marijuana use was assessed in 3,151 individuals who were free from prediabetes/diabetes at year 7 (1992–1993) and who returned for at least one of the four subsequent follow-up examinations over 18 years. Results: The percentage of individuals who self-reported current use of marijuana declined over the course of the study’s follow-up. After multivariable adjustment, higher odds of prediabetes were found for individuals who reported current use of marijuana (OR 1.65 [95% CI 1.15, 2.38]) and a lifetime use of 100 times or more (OR 1.49 [95% CI 1.06, 2.11]), compared with individuals who reported never using marijuana. There was no association between marijuana use and diabetes at CARDIA examination year 25. Over 18 years of follow-up, a greater risk of prediabetes (but not diabetes) was found for individuals who reported a lifetime use of marijuana of 100 times or more (HR 1.39 [95% CI 1.13, 1.71]), compared with individuals who had never used marijuana. Conclusions/interpretation: Marijuana use in young adulthood is associated with an increased risk of prediabetes by middle adulthood, but not with the development of diabetes by this age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2736-2744
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
MPB was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Training Grant T32HL007779 to conduct the current work. The CARDIA study is conducted and supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (HHSN268201300025C and HHSN268201300026C), Northwestern University (HHSN268201300027C), the University of Minnesota (HHSN268201300028C), the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute (HHSN268201300029C) and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (HHSN268200900041C). The CARDIA study is also partially supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and an intra-agency agreement between the NIA and NHLBI (AG0005). This manuscript has been reviewed by CARDIA for scientific content. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Diabetes
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal
  • Marijuana use
  • Prediabetes


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