Abstract P056: The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among Us Adults
Background: There are limited data regarding the relationship between cannabinoids and metabolic processes. Epidemiologic studies have found lower prevalence rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus in marijuana users compared to people who have never used marijuana, suggesting a relationship between cannabinoids and peripheral metabolic processes. To date, no study has investigated the relationship between marijuana use and fasting insulin, glucose, and insulin resistance.
Methods: We included 4,657 adult men and women from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2005 to 2010. Marijuana use was assessed by self-report in a private room, using a computer assisted self-interview system. Fasting insulin and glucose were measured via blood samples following a nine hour fast, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was calculated to evaluate insulin resistance. Associations were estimated using multiple linear regression, accounting for the survey design and adjusting for potential confounders.
Results: Of the participants in our study sample, 579 were current marijuana users, while 1,975 were past users. In models adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education level, income, marital status, tobacco use, alcohol use, and physical activity, current marijuana use was associated with 2.00 μU/mL lower fasting insulin levels (95% CI -3.12 to -0.89) and 0.54 lower HOMA-IR (95% CI -0.83 to -0.24). We also found significant associations between marijuana use and smaller waist circumferences and higher levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Among current users, we found no significant dose-response. Separate sensitivity analyses additionally adjusting for BMI and excluding subjects with diabetes mellitus were not materially different.
Conclusions: We found that marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR, as well as smaller waist circumference, suggesting that the cannabinoid system may play a role in insulin resistance and obesity.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.