Does cannabis use predict the first incidence of mood and anxiety disorders in the adult population?
Article first published online: 6 JUL 2007
Volume 102, Issue 8, pages 1251–1260, August 2007
How to Cite
Van Laar, M., Van Dorsselaer, S., Monshouwer, K. and De Graaf, R. (2007), Does cannabis use predict the first incidence of mood and anxiety disorders in the adult population?. Addiction, 102: 1251–1260. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.01875.x
- Issue published online: 6 JUL 2007
- Article first published online: 6 JUL 2007
- Submitted 31 July 2006; initial review completed 18 December 2006; final version accepted 21 March 2007
- Anxiety disorders;
- bipolar disorder;
- cannabis abuse;
- major depressive disorder;
- mood disorders
Aims To investigate whether cannabis use predicted the first incidence of mood and anxiety disorders in adults during a 3-year follow-up period.
Design and participants Data were derived from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS), a prospective study in the adult population of 18–64 years. The analysis was carried out on 3881 people who had no life-time mood disorders and on 3854 people who had no life-time anxiety disorders at baseline.
Measurements Life-time cannabis use and DSM-III-R mood and anxiety disorders, assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Findings After adjustment for strong confounders, any use of cannabis at baseline predicted a modest increase in the risk of a first major depression (odds ratio 1.62; 95% confidence interval 1.06–2.48) and a stronger increase in the risk of a first bipolar disorder (odds ratio 4.98; 95% confidence interval 1.80–13.81). The risk of ‘any mood disorder’ was elevated for weekly and almost daily users but not for less frequent use patterns. However, dose–response relationships were less clear for major depression and bipolar disorder separately. None of the associations between cannabis use and anxiety disorders remained significant after adjustment for confounders.
Conclusions The associations between cannabis use and the first incidence of depression and bipolar disorder, which remained significant after adjustment for strong confounders, warrant research into the underlying mechanisms.