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Self-reported marijuana use over 25 years and abdominal adiposity: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study.

  • Bancks, Michael P1
  • Auer, Reto2
  • Carr, J Jeffrey3
  • Goff, David C Jr4
  • Kiefe, Catarina5
  • Rana, Jamal S6, 7
  • Reis, Jared4
  • Sidney, Stephen8
  • Terry, James G3
  • Schreiner, Pamela J9
  • 1 Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.
  • 2 Institute of Primary Health Care (BIHAM), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 3 Department of Radiology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA.
  • 4 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.
  • 5 University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
  • 6 Kaiser Permanente Division of Cardiology, Oakland, CA, USA.
  • 7 Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
  • 8 Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA, USA.
  • 9 University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
Published Article
Addiction (Abingdon, England)
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2018
DOI: 10.1111/add.14097
PMID: 29127726


We investigated the association between cumulative lifetime and current marijuana use with total abdominal adipose tissue (AT), visceral AT, subcutaneous AT, intermuscular AT, and mean liver attenuation (LA) at mid-life. Longitudinal and cross-sectional secondary data analysis of participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. CARDIA field centers in Birmingham, AL; Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; and Oakland, CA, USA. CARDIA participants, aged 18-30 years in 1985-1986, who were present at the clinic examination in 2010-2011 (n = 2902). Marijuana use was assessed from responses to self-administered questionnaires at 8 CARDIA examinations over 25 years, determined as cumulative marijuana-years and current use status. Non-contrast computed tomography imaging of the abdomen was obtained in 2010-2011. In 2010-2011, 84% of participants reported a history of marijuana use with 11% reporting use within the past 30 days. Before adjustment, we observed greater cumulative marijuana use was associated with lower total abdominal and subcutaneous AT volume and lower LA and current marijuana use was associated with lower subcutaneous AT. However, after adjustment for age, sex, race, field center, cigarette pack-years and current use, regular alcohol consumption, cumulative drink-years, and physical activity, neither cumulative marijuana use nor current use showed an association with any abdominal adipose depot. Our estimates did not differ by age, sex, or race nor after accounting for cohort attrition. Neither cumulative marijuana use nor current marijuana use is associated with total abdominal, visceral, subcutaneous, or intermuscular adipose tissue, or liver attenuation in mid-life. © 2017 Society for the Study of Addiction.

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