WEDNESDAY, June 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The adjusted prevalence of suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt in young U.S. adults increased from 2008-2009 to 2018-2019 after controlling for major depressive episodes (MDE), cannabis use, and cannabis use disorder (CUD), according to a study published online June 22 in JAMA Network Open.

Beth Han, M.D., Ph.D., from the National institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues examined data from 281,650 adults aged 18 to 34 years from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health to examine whether cannabis use and CUD are associated with prevalence of suicidality.

The researchers found that among all examined sociodemographic subgroups (except daily cannabis use among current high school students), past-year suicidal ideation and plan along with daily cannabis use increased, and past-year suicide attempt increased among most subgroups. Among adults with or without MDE, national trends in adjusted prevalence of past-year suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt varied by daily and nondaily cannabis use and CUD. From the 2008-2009 to 2018-2019 periods, the adjusted prevalence of suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt increased after controlling for MDE, CUD, cannabis use status, and potential confounding factors (adjusted risk ratios, 1.4, 1.6, and 1.4, respectively). In both sexes, past-year CUD, daily cannabis use, and nondaily cannabis use were associated with increased prevalence of suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt, more significantly so in women.

“As we better understand the relationship between cannabis use, depression, and suicidality, clinicians will be able to provide better guidance and care to patients,” a coauthor said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to General Electric, 3M, and Pfizer.

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