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Kidney Week

Abstract: PO0491

Evaluating the Longitudinal Association of Marijuana Use and Adverse Kidney Outcomes

Session Information

Category: CKD (Non-Dialysis)

  • 2101 CKD (Non-Dialysis): Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Prevention


  • Alvarado, Flor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Zonderman, Alan B., Intramural Research Program, NIA, NIH, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Evans, Michele Kim, National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Crews, Deidra C., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Marijuana use has increased for recreational and medicinal purposes, however, its long-term effects on the kidneys remain uncertain. We examined the longitudinal association of marijuana use and adverse kidney outcomes among adults living in Baltimore, MD.


We used data from the prospective Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span study. Baseline exposure, defined as self-reported never, former, or current marijuana use, and covariates were obtained between 2004 and 2009. The primary outcome was incident reduced kidney function, defined as an eGFR<60 ml/min/1.73m2. Rapid kidney function decline (defined as ≥3% eGFR decline per year) among those with a baseline eGFR>=15 and incident albuminuria (albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) >= 30 mg/g) at follow-up was also assessed. Participant characteristics were evaluated using ANOVA or χ2 tests. Multivariable-adjusted logistic regression was used to evaluate associations of marijuana use with kidney outcomes. Covariates included baseline eGFR, age, sex, race, education, poverty status; current cigarette, opiate, cocaine use; hypertension, diabetes, and body mass index (BMI).


Among 1,529 participants, 54.5%, 31.8% and 13.7% reported never, former, or current marijuana use, respectively. Participants with current marijuana use were more likely to be younger, male, African American, have lower BMI and concurrently use cigarettes, opiates and/or cocaine; but were less likely to have hypertension or diabetes. Mean follow-up time was 8.6 years. 337 deaths occurred in this cohort, but there was no significant difference in deaths between marijuana exposure groups (Pearson χ2, p= 0.524). After adjustment, marijuana use was not significantly associated with incident reduced kidney function (OR 1.08 [95% CI, 0.49-2.36] among those with current use, and OR 0.90 [95% 0.49-1.61] for former use). Marijuana use was not significantly associated with rapid kidney function decline (OR 0.73 [95% CI, 0.42-1.27] for current use) or incident albuminuria (OR 0.63 [95% CI, 0.11-3.48] for current use).


In this Baltimore-based cohort, there was no independent association of marijuana use and longitudinal adverse kidney outcomes.


  • Other NIH Support