The authors contributed equally to the manuscript.
Brief Cutting Edge Report
Cannabis use in relation to obesity and insulin resistance in the inuit population
Version of Record online: 31 DEC 2014
© 2014 The Obesity Society
Volume 23, Issue 2, pages 290–295, February 2015
How to Cite
Ngueta, G., Bélanger, R. E., Laouan-Sidi, E. A. and Lucas, M. (2015), Cannabis use in relation to obesity and insulin resistance in the inuit population. Obesity, 23: 290–295. doi: 10.1002/oby.20973
Funding agencies: The Nunavik Inuit Health Survery was supported by the Ministry of Health and Social Services (Quebec) and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services. Dr. Ngueta received a doctoral fellowship from the Canada Water Network, Health Canada, and the Ministry of Health and Social Services (Quebec). These funding sources were not involved in data collection, data analysis, manuscript writing, or publication.
Disclosure: The authors declared no conflict of interest.
Author contributions: All authors had full access to all study data (including statistical reports and tables) and take responsibility for data integrity and the accuracy of data analysis. RB and ML conceptualized and designed the study. GN, RB, EALS, and ML analyzed the data and interpreted the results. GN wrote the manuscript. GN, RB, EALS, and ML critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. ML supervized the study.
- Issue online: 28 JAN 2015
- Version of Record online: 31 DEC 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 OCT 2014
- Manuscript Received: 21 JUL 2014
Vol. 23, Issue 10, 2131, Version of Record online: 8 SEP 2015
To ascertain the relationship between cannabis use, obesity, and insulin resistance.
Data on 786 Inuit adults from the Nunavik Inuit Health Survey (2004) were analyzed. Information on cannabis use was obtained from a self-completed, confidential questionnaire. Fasting blood glucose and insulin and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) served as surrogate markers of insulin resistance. Analysis of covariance and multivariate logistic regression ascertained relationships between cannabis use and outcomes.
Cannabis use was highly prevalent in the study population (57.4%) and was statistically associated with lower body mass index (BMI) (P < 0.001), lower % fat mass (P < 0.001), lower fasting insulin (P = 0.04), and lower HOMA-IR (P = 0.01), after adjusting for numerous confounding variables. Further adjustment for BMI rendered fasting insulin and HOMA-IR differences statistically nonsignificant between past-year cannabis users and nonusers. Mediation analysis showed that the effect of cannabis use on insulin resistance was indirect, through BMI. In multivariate analysis, past-year cannabis use was associated with 0.56 lower likelihood of obesity (95% confidence interval 0.37-0.84).
Cannabis use was associated with lower BMI, and such an association did not occur through the glucose metabolic process or related inflammatory markers. The association between cannabis use and insulin resistance was mediated through its influence on weight.