Correlation between secondhand marijuana and tobacco smoke exposure and children ED visits

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Credit: Pediatric Academic Societies

TORONTO, May 5, 2018 – Children exposed to the combination of marijuana and tobacco smoke have increased emergency department (ED) visitation and otitis media episodes compared to children with no smoke exposure, according to a new survey being presented during the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2018 Meeting. This association was not seen in children exposed to only marijuana smoke or to only tobacco smoke. This is the first study to demonstrate the notable impact between second hand marijuana smoke exposure and child health.

Marijuana is the most common illicit substance in the U.S. The goal of this study was to determine association between second hand marijuana smoke (SHMS) exposure and rates of ED visitation, and rates of tobacco sensitive conditions: asthma, otitis media and viral respiratory infections.

The research included a cross-sectional survey of caregivers of children presenting to the ED of an urban, tertiary care, academic children's hospital in Colorado. Data collected included caregiver demographics and use of tobacco and/or marijuana, along with index child medical history, number of overall ED visits and number of tobacco sensitive conditions in the prior year. Caregivers were classified into four categories depending on use: marijuana use only, tobacco use only, both tobacco and marijuana use, and neither marijuana nor tobacco use (control group). Poisson regression models were created to determine differences in overall ED visitation, as well as tobacco sensitive conditions. Results were expressed using incident rate ratios (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals. A total of 1,500 caregivers completed the survey.

The survey found that overall, 140 caregivers (9.2 percent, 95%CI = 7.7-10.7 percent) reported regularly smoking marijuana, and 285 caregivers (19 percent, 17.1-21.1 percent) reported regularly smoking tobacco. Exposure groups included: marijuana only (n=62, 4.1 percent), tobacco only (n=213, 14.2 percent), marijuana and tobacco (n=75, 5percent), and unexposed (n=1147, 76.6 percent). When compared against each other, all groups had a similar rate of ED visitation other than the marijuana and tobacco group which had a significantly higher rate of ED visits compared to the controls. Children in the marijuana + tobacco group also had a statistically significant increase in otitis media episodes compared to controls (IRR = 1.81, 95%CI = 1.38, 2.35); differences were not elicited among the other groups or for other tobacco sensitive conditions.

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Dr. Adam Johnson will present the abstract, "Impact of Second Hand Marijuana Smoke Exposure on Pediatric Health and Emergency Department Visitation," during the PAS 2018 Meeting on Saturday, May 5 at 1:15 p.m. EDT. Reporters interested in an interview with Dr. Johnson should contact [email protected]

Please note: Only the abstract is being presented at the meeting. In some cases, the researcher may have additional data to share with media.

The PAS 2018 Meeting, taking place in Toronto on May 5-8, 2018, brings together thousands of pediatric scientists and other health care providers to improve the health and well-being of children worldwide. For more information about the PAS 2018 Meeting, please visit http://www.pas-meeting.org.

About The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting

The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting brings together thousands of pediatricians and other health care providers united by a common mission: improve the health and well-being of children worldwide. This international gathering includes researchers, academics, as well as clinical care providers and community practitioners. Presentations cover issues of interest to generalists as well as topics critical to a wide array of specialty and sub-specialty areas. The PAS Meeting is produced through a partnership of four pediatric organizations that are leaders in the advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy: American Pediatric Society, Society for Pediatric Research, Academic Pediatric Association and American Academy of Pediatrics. For more information, please visit http://www.pas-meeting.org. Follow us on Twitter @PASMeeting and #PAS2018, or like us on Facebook.

PAS Media Contact:
(214) 217-7300
[email protected]

PAS Press Office (May 5-8, 2018):
(832) 371-6239

Abstract: Impact of Second Hand Marijuana Smoke Exposure on Pediatric Health and Emergency Department Visitation

Background: Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance in the U.S. Second Hand Marijuana Smoke (SHMS) exposure and its subsequent impact on child health have not been studied.

Objective: To determine association between SHMS exposure and rates of ED visitation, and rates of tobacco sensitive conditions: asthma, otitis media, and viral respiratory infections.

Design/Methods: Cross sectional survey of caregivers of children presenting to the ED of an urban, tertiary care, academic children's hospital in Colorado. Caregivers were enrolled prior to medical evaluation, survey items were self-reported, and responses remained confidential. Data collected included caregiver demographics and use of tobacco and/or marijuana; along with index child medical history, number of overall ED visits, and number of tobacco sensitive conditions in the prior year. Caregivers were classified into 4 categories depending on use: marijuana use only, tobacco use only, both tobacco and marijuana use, and neither marijuana nor tobacco use (control group). Poisson regression models were created to determine differences in overall ED visitation, as well as tobacco sensitive conditions. We expressed results using incident rate ratios (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals

Results: A total of 1500 caregivers completed the survey. Overall, 140 caregivers (9.2%, 95%CI = 7.7-10.7%) reported regularly smoking marijuana, and 285 caregivers (19%, 17.1-21.1%) reported regularly smoking tobacco. Exposure groups included: marijuana only (n=62, 4.1%), tobacco only (n=213, 14.2%), marijuana + tobacco (n=75, 5%), and unexposed (n=1147, 76.6%). When compared against each other, all groups had a similar rate of ED visitation other than the marijuana + tobacco group which had a significantly higher rate of ED visits compared to the controls (Table). Children in the marijuana + tobacco group also had a statistically significant increase in otitis media episodes compared to controls (IRR = 1.81, 95%CI = 1.38, 2.35); differences were not elicited among the other groups or for other tobacco sensitive conditions

Conclusion(s): Children exposed to the combination of marijuana and tobacco smoke have increased ED visitation and otitis media episodes compared to children with no smoke exposure. This association was not seen in children exposed to only marijuana smoke or to only tobacco smoke. This is the first study to demonstrate the notable impact between second hand marijuana smoke exposure and child health

Authors: Adam B. Johnson, Rakesh D. Mistry

Media Contact

PAS
[email protected]
214-217-7300

http://www.aps-spr.org

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