The persistence of the association between adolescent cannabis use and common mental disorders into young adulthood

Degenhardt, Louisa, Coffey, Carolyn, Romaniuk, Helena, Swift, Wendy, Carlin, John B., Hall, Wayne D. and Patton, George C. (2013) The persistence of the association between adolescent cannabis use and common mental disorders into young adulthood. Addiction, 108 1: 124-133. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.04015.x


Author Degenhardt, Louisa
Coffey, Carolyn
Romaniuk, Helena
Swift, Wendy
Carlin, John B.
Hall, Wayne D.
Patton, George C.
Title The persistence of the association between adolescent cannabis use and common mental disorders into young adulthood
Journal name Addiction   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0965-2140
1360-0443
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.04015.x
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 108
Issue 1
Start page 124
End page 133
Total pages 10
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Abstract Aims Debate continues about whether the association between cannabis use in adolescence and common mental disorders is causal. Most reports have focused on associations in adolescence, with few studies extending into adulthood. We examine the association from adolescence until the age of 29 years in a representative prospective cohort of young Australians. Design Nine-wave, 15-year representative longitudinal cohort study, with six waves of data collection in adolescence (mean age 14.917.4 years) and three in young adulthood (mean age 20.7, 24.1 and 29.1 years). Participants Participants were a cohort of 1943 recruited in secondary school and surveyed at each wave when possible from mid-teen age to their late 20s. Setting Victoria, Australia. Measurements Psychiatric morbidity was assessed with the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R) at each adolescent wave, and as Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI)-defined ICD-10 major depressive episode and anxiety disorder at 29 years. Frequency of cannabis use was measured in the past 6 months in adolescence. Cannabis use frequency in the last year and DSM-IV cannabis dependence were assessed at 29 years. Cross-sectional and prospective associations of these outcomes with cannabis use and dependence were estimated as odds ratios (OR), using multivariable logistic regression models, with the outcomes of interest, major depressive episode (MDE) and anxiety disorder (AD) at 29 years. Findings There were no consistent associations between adolescent cannabis use and depression at age 29 years. Daily cannabis use was associated with anxiety disorder at 29 years [adjusted OR 2.5, 95% confidence interval (CI):< 1.25.2], as was cannabis dependence (adjusted OR 2.2, 95% CI: 1.14.4). Among weekly+ adolescent cannabis users, those who continued to use cannabis use daily at 29 years remained at significantly increased odds of anxiety disorder (adjusted OR 3.2, 95% CI: 1.19.2). Conclusions Regular (particularly daily) adolescent cannabis use is associated consistently with anxiety, but not depressive disorder, in adolescence and late young adulthood, even among regular users who then cease using the drug. It is possible that early cannabis exposure causes enduring mental health risks in the general cannabis-using adolescent population.
Formatted abstract
Aims: Debate continues about whether the association between cannabis use in adolescence and common mental disorders is causal. Most reports have focused on associations in adolescence, with few studies extending into adulthood. We examine the association from adolescence until the age of 29 years in a representative prospective cohort of young Australians.

Design:
Nine-wave, 15-year representative longitudinal cohort study, with six waves of data collection in adolescence (mean age 14.9–17.4 years) and three in young adulthood (mean age 20.7, 24.1 and 29.1 years).

Participants: Participants were a cohort of 1943 recruited in secondary school and surveyed at each wave when possible from mid-teen age to their late 20s.

Setting: Victoria, Australia.

Measurements: Psychiatric morbidity was assessed with the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R) at each adolescent wave, and as Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI)-defined ICD-10 major depressive episode and anxiety disorder at 29 years. Frequency of cannabis use was measured in the past 6 months in adolescence. Cannabis use frequency in the last year and DSM-IV cannabis dependence were assessed at 29 years. Cross-sectional and prospective associations of these outcomes with cannabis use and dependence were estimated as odds ratios (OR), using multivariable logistic regression models, with the outcomes of interest, major depressive episode (MDE) and anxiety disorder (AD) at 29 years.

Findings: There were no consistent associations between adolescent cannabis use and depression at age 29 years. Daily cannabis use was associated with anxiety disorder at 29 years [adjusted OR 2.5, 95% confidence interval (CI):< 1.2–5.2], as was cannabis dependence (adjusted OR 2.2, 95% CI: 1.1–4.4). Among weekly+ adolescent cannabis users, those who continued to use cannabis use daily at 29 years remained at significantly increased odds of anxiety disorder (adjusted OR 3.2, 95% CI: 1.1–9.2).

Conclusions: Regular (particularly daily) adolescent cannabis use is associated consistently with anxiety, but not depressive disorder, in adolescence and late young adulthood, even among regular users who then cease using the drug. It is possible that early cannabis exposure causes enduring mental health risks in the general cannabis-using adolescent population.
Keyword Anxiety
Cannabis
Cohort
Depression
Epidemiology
Psychiatry
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 18 October 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2013 Collection
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 69 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 84 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 10 Feb 2013, 11:23:55 EST by System User on behalf of UQ Centre for Clinical Research