Marijuana use and health behaviors in a US clinic sample of patients with sickle cell disease

J. Deanna Wilson, Lydia H. Pecker, Sophie Lanzkron, Shawn M. Bediako, Dingfen Han, Mary Catherine Beach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction As marijuana use becomes more common, it is essential clinicians understand the relationship between marijuana use and health behaviors. Methods Using a retrospective cohort of adolescents and adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) stratified into a young (<25 years) and older cohort (> = 25 years), we conducted multiple linear regression examining relationship of marijuana use (independent variable) on each dependent variable (SCD self-management score and pain management). Results Among young cohort, 16.9% used marijuana compared to 21.8% of older cohort. The younger cohort reporting marijuana use had lower mean self-care scores (β = -2.74;p = 0.009) and were more likely to have admissions to the hospital for pain (β = 0.87;p = 0.047) compared to non-users. In contrast, the older cohort reporting marijuana use had more days treating pain at home (β = 0.44;p = 0.035). Conclusions Only a minority of patients with SCD reported lifetime marijuana use. Among those reporting marijuana use, there were different associations with self-care and health-related behaviors by age. The older cohort who endorsed marijuana use reported more days of treating pain at home, although this did not translate into increased acute care visits for pain crisis. Among youth, endorsing marijuana use was associated with worse SCD self-care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0235192
JournalPloS one
Issue number7 July
StatePublished - Jul 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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