Cannabis use disorder and perioperative outcomes following complex cancer surgery

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“Introduction: Cannabis usage is increasing in the United States, especially among patients with cancer. We sought to evaluate whether cannabis use disorder (CUD) was associated with higher morbidity and mortality among patients undergoing complex cancer surgery.

Methods: Patients who underwent complex cancer surgery between January 2016 and December 2019 were identified in the National Inpatient Sample database. CUD was defined according to ICD-10 codes. Propensity score matching was performed to create a 1:1 matched cohort that was well balanced with respect to covariates, which included patient comorbidities, sociodemographic factors, and procedure type. The primary composite outcome was in-hospital mortality and seven major perioperative complications (myocardial ischemia, acute kidney injury, stroke, respiratory failure, venous thromboembolism, hospital-acquired infection, and surgical procedure-related complications).

Results: Among 15 014 patients who underwent a high-risk surgical procedure, a cohort of 7507 patients with CUD (median age; 43 years [IQR: 30-56 years]; n = 3078 [41.0%] female) were matched with 7507 patients who were not cannabis users (median age; 44 years [IQR: 30-58 years); n = 2997 [39.9%] female). CUD was associated with slight increased risk relative to postoperative kidney injury (CUD, 7.8% vs. no CUD, 6.1%); however, in-hospital mortality was slightly lower (CUD, 0.9% vs. no CUD, 1.6%) (both p < 0.001). On multivariable analysis, after controlling for other risk factors, CUD was not associated with higher morbidity and mortality (adjusted odds ratio: 1.06, 95% CI: 0.98-1.15; p = 0.158).

Conclusion: CUD was not associated with a higher risk of postoperative morbidity and mortality following complex cancer surgery.”

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