Early cannabis use and estimated risk of later onset of depression spells: Epidemiologic evidence from the population-based world health organization world mental health survey initiative

Ron De Graaf, Mirjana Radovanovic, Margriet Van Laar, Brian Fairman, Louisa Degenhardt, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Ronny Bruffaerts, Giovanni De Girolamo, John Fayyad, Oye Gureje, Josep Maria Haro, Yueqin Huang, Stanislav Kostychenko, Jean Pierre Lépine, Herbert Matschinger, Maria Elena Medina Mora, Yehuda Neumark, Johan Ormel, Jose Posada-Villa, Dan J. SteinHisateru Tachimori, J. Elisabeth Wells, James C. Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Early-onset cannabis use is widespread in many countries and might cause later onset of depression. Sound epidemiologic data across countries are missing. The authors estimated the suspected causal association that links early-onset (age <17 years) cannabis use with later-onset (age ≥17 years) risk of a depression spell, using data on 85,088 subjects from 17 countries participating in the population-based World Health Organization World Mental Health Survey Initiative (2001-2005). In all surveys, multistage household probability samples were evaluated with a fully structured diagnostic interview for assessment of psychiatric conditions. The association between early-onset cannabis use and later risk of a depression spell was studied using conditional logistic regression with local area matching of cases and controls, controlling for sex, age, tobacco use, and other mental health problems. The overall association was modest (controlled for sex and age, risk ratio = 1.5, 95% confidence interval: 1.4, 1.7), was statistically robust in 5 countries, and showed no sex difference. The association did not change appreciably with statistical adjustment for mental health problems, except for childhood conduct problems, which reduced the association to nonsignificance. This study did not allow differentiation of levels of cannabis use; this issue deserves consideration in future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume172
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • cannabis
  • depression
  • mental health
  • world health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Early cannabis use and estimated risk of later onset of depression spells: Epidemiologic evidence from the population-based world health organization world mental health survey initiative'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this