Association of Cannabis Use in Adolescence and Risk of Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidality in Young Adulthood

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Gabriella Gobbi, Tobias Atkin, Tomasz Zytynski, Shouao Wang, Sorayya Askari, Jill Boruff, Mark Ware, Naomi Marmorstein, Andrea Cipriani, Nandini Dendukuri, Nancy Mayo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Importance: Cannabis is the most commonly used drug of abuse by adolescents in the world. While the impact of adolescent cannabis use on the development of psychosis has been investigated in depth, little is known about the impact of cannabis use on mood and suicidality in young adulthood. Objective: To provide a summary estimate of the extent to which cannabis use during adolescence is associated with the risk of developing subsequent major depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior. Data Sources: Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and Proquest Dissertations and Theses were searched from inception to January 2017. Study Selection: Longitudinal and prospective studies, assessing cannabis use in adolescents younger than 18 years (at least 1 assessment point) and then ascertaining development of depression in young adulthood (age 18 to 32 years) were selected, and odds ratios (OR) adjusted for the presence of baseline depression and/or anxiety and/or suicidality were extracted. Data Extraction and Synthesis: Study quality was assessed using the Research Triangle Institute item bank on risk of bias and precision of observational studies. Two reviewers conducted all review stages independently. Selected data were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. Main Outcomes and Measures: The studies assessing cannabis use and depression at different points from adolescence to young adulthood and reporting the corresponding OR were included. In the studies selected, depression was diagnosed according to the third or fourth editions of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or by using scales with predetermined cutoff points. Results: After screening 3142 articles, 269 articles were selected for full-text review, 35 were selected for further review, and 11 studies comprising 23317 individuals were included in the quantitative analysis. The OR of developing depression for cannabis users in young adulthood compared with nonusers was 1.37 (95% CI, 1.16-1.62; I 2 = 0%). The pooled OR for anxiety was not statistically significant: 1.18 (95% CI, 0.84-1.67; I 2 = 42%). The pooled OR for suicidal ideation was 1.50 (95% CI, 1.11-2.03; I 2 = 0%), and for suicidal attempt was 3.46 (95% CI, 1.53-7.84, I 2 = 61.3%). Conclusions and Relevance: Although individual-level risk remains moderate to low and results from this study should be confirmed in future adequately powered prospective studies, the high prevalence of adolescents consuming cannabis generates a large number of young people who could develop depression and suicidality attributable to cannabis. This is an important public health problem and concern, which should be properly addressed by health care policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJAMA psychiatry
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Cannabis
Meta-Analysis
Anxiety
Depression
Odds Ratio
Prospective Studies
Suicidal Ideation
Information Storage and Retrieval
Street Drugs
Health Policy
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Psychotic Disorders
Observational Studies
Longitudinal Studies
Public Health
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Delivery of Health Care

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Gobbi, Gabriella ; Atkin, Tobias ; Zytynski, Tomasz ; Wang, Shouao ; Askari, Sorayya ; Boruff, Jill ; Ware, Mark ; Marmorstein, Naomi ; Cipriani, Andrea ; Dendukuri, Nandini ; Mayo, Nancy. / Association of Cannabis Use in Adolescence and Risk of Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidality in Young Adulthood : A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. In: JAMA psychiatry. 2019.
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abstract = "Importance: Cannabis is the most commonly used drug of abuse by adolescents in the world. While the impact of adolescent cannabis use on the development of psychosis has been investigated in depth, little is known about the impact of cannabis use on mood and suicidality in young adulthood. Objective: To provide a summary estimate of the extent to which cannabis use during adolescence is associated with the risk of developing subsequent major depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior. Data Sources: Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and Proquest Dissertations and Theses were searched from inception to January 2017. Study Selection: Longitudinal and prospective studies, assessing cannabis use in adolescents younger than 18 years (at least 1 assessment point) and then ascertaining development of depression in young adulthood (age 18 to 32 years) were selected, and odds ratios (OR) adjusted for the presence of baseline depression and/or anxiety and/or suicidality were extracted. Data Extraction and Synthesis: Study quality was assessed using the Research Triangle Institute item bank on risk of bias and precision of observational studies. Two reviewers conducted all review stages independently. Selected data were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. Main Outcomes and Measures: The studies assessing cannabis use and depression at different points from adolescence to young adulthood and reporting the corresponding OR were included. In the studies selected, depression was diagnosed according to the third or fourth editions of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or by using scales with predetermined cutoff points. Results: After screening 3142 articles, 269 articles were selected for full-text review, 35 were selected for further review, and 11 studies comprising 23317 individuals were included in the quantitative analysis. The OR of developing depression for cannabis users in young adulthood compared with nonusers was 1.37 (95{\%} CI, 1.16-1.62; I 2 = 0{\%}). The pooled OR for anxiety was not statistically significant: 1.18 (95{\%} CI, 0.84-1.67; I 2 = 42{\%}). The pooled OR for suicidal ideation was 1.50 (95{\%} CI, 1.11-2.03; I 2 = 0{\%}), and for suicidal attempt was 3.46 (95{\%} CI, 1.53-7.84, I 2 = 61.3{\%}). Conclusions and Relevance: Although individual-level risk remains moderate to low and results from this study should be confirmed in future adequately powered prospective studies, the high prevalence of adolescents consuming cannabis generates a large number of young people who could develop depression and suicidality attributable to cannabis. This is an important public health problem and concern, which should be properly addressed by health care policy.",
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Association of Cannabis Use in Adolescence and Risk of Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidality in Young Adulthood : A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. / Gobbi, Gabriella; Atkin, Tobias; Zytynski, Tomasz; Wang, Shouao; Askari, Sorayya; Boruff, Jill; Ware, Mark; Marmorstein, Naomi; Cipriani, Andrea; Dendukuri, Nandini; Mayo, Nancy.

In: JAMA psychiatry, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Association of Cannabis Use in Adolescence and Risk of Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidality in Young Adulthood

T2 - A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

AU - Gobbi, Gabriella

AU - Atkin, Tobias

AU - Zytynski, Tomasz

AU - Wang, Shouao

AU - Askari, Sorayya

AU - Boruff, Jill

AU - Ware, Mark

AU - Marmorstein, Naomi

AU - Cipriani, Andrea

AU - Dendukuri, Nandini

AU - Mayo, Nancy

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Importance: Cannabis is the most commonly used drug of abuse by adolescents in the world. While the impact of adolescent cannabis use on the development of psychosis has been investigated in depth, little is known about the impact of cannabis use on mood and suicidality in young adulthood. Objective: To provide a summary estimate of the extent to which cannabis use during adolescence is associated with the risk of developing subsequent major depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior. Data Sources: Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and Proquest Dissertations and Theses were searched from inception to January 2017. Study Selection: Longitudinal and prospective studies, assessing cannabis use in adolescents younger than 18 years (at least 1 assessment point) and then ascertaining development of depression in young adulthood (age 18 to 32 years) were selected, and odds ratios (OR) adjusted for the presence of baseline depression and/or anxiety and/or suicidality were extracted. Data Extraction and Synthesis: Study quality was assessed using the Research Triangle Institute item bank on risk of bias and precision of observational studies. Two reviewers conducted all review stages independently. Selected data were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. Main Outcomes and Measures: The studies assessing cannabis use and depression at different points from adolescence to young adulthood and reporting the corresponding OR were included. In the studies selected, depression was diagnosed according to the third or fourth editions of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or by using scales with predetermined cutoff points. Results: After screening 3142 articles, 269 articles were selected for full-text review, 35 were selected for further review, and 11 studies comprising 23317 individuals were included in the quantitative analysis. The OR of developing depression for cannabis users in young adulthood compared with nonusers was 1.37 (95% CI, 1.16-1.62; I 2 = 0%). The pooled OR for anxiety was not statistically significant: 1.18 (95% CI, 0.84-1.67; I 2 = 42%). The pooled OR for suicidal ideation was 1.50 (95% CI, 1.11-2.03; I 2 = 0%), and for suicidal attempt was 3.46 (95% CI, 1.53-7.84, I 2 = 61.3%). Conclusions and Relevance: Although individual-level risk remains moderate to low and results from this study should be confirmed in future adequately powered prospective studies, the high prevalence of adolescents consuming cannabis generates a large number of young people who could develop depression and suicidality attributable to cannabis. This is an important public health problem and concern, which should be properly addressed by health care policy.

AB - Importance: Cannabis is the most commonly used drug of abuse by adolescents in the world. While the impact of adolescent cannabis use on the development of psychosis has been investigated in depth, little is known about the impact of cannabis use on mood and suicidality in young adulthood. Objective: To provide a summary estimate of the extent to which cannabis use during adolescence is associated with the risk of developing subsequent major depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior. Data Sources: Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and Proquest Dissertations and Theses were searched from inception to January 2017. Study Selection: Longitudinal and prospective studies, assessing cannabis use in adolescents younger than 18 years (at least 1 assessment point) and then ascertaining development of depression in young adulthood (age 18 to 32 years) were selected, and odds ratios (OR) adjusted for the presence of baseline depression and/or anxiety and/or suicidality were extracted. Data Extraction and Synthesis: Study quality was assessed using the Research Triangle Institute item bank on risk of bias and precision of observational studies. Two reviewers conducted all review stages independently. Selected data were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. Main Outcomes and Measures: The studies assessing cannabis use and depression at different points from adolescence to young adulthood and reporting the corresponding OR were included. In the studies selected, depression was diagnosed according to the third or fourth editions of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or by using scales with predetermined cutoff points. Results: After screening 3142 articles, 269 articles were selected for full-text review, 35 were selected for further review, and 11 studies comprising 23317 individuals were included in the quantitative analysis. The OR of developing depression for cannabis users in young adulthood compared with nonusers was 1.37 (95% CI, 1.16-1.62; I 2 = 0%). The pooled OR for anxiety was not statistically significant: 1.18 (95% CI, 0.84-1.67; I 2 = 42%). The pooled OR for suicidal ideation was 1.50 (95% CI, 1.11-2.03; I 2 = 0%), and for suicidal attempt was 3.46 (95% CI, 1.53-7.84, I 2 = 61.3%). Conclusions and Relevance: Although individual-level risk remains moderate to low and results from this study should be confirmed in future adequately powered prospective studies, the high prevalence of adolescents consuming cannabis generates a large number of young people who could develop depression and suicidality attributable to cannabis. This is an important public health problem and concern, which should be properly addressed by health care policy.

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