MONDAY, Jan. 16, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Cannabis use in US states where recreational use is legal could contribute to childhood asthma, according to new research.
study It found increases in asthma in teens where cannabis is legal, compared to states where it is still banned for medical and recreational use. The study also found an increase in childhood asthma in certain minority and ethnic groups.
“Our findings suggest that statewide cannabis policy can have downstream effects on children’s respiratory health,” said the first author of the study. Renee Goodwinan assistant professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
She noted that cannabis use is increasing among adults with children at home, particularly in states that have legalized it for medical or recreational use.
“Exposure to secondhand smoke is a major risk factor for asthma among children,” Goodwin said in a university news release. “This study provides a critical first step in identifying a major pediatric health concern that arises in the context of rapid and ongoing changes in cannabis policy that are not accompanied by clinical or public health guidelines for parents.”
The researchers used data from the 2011-2019 National Survey of Child Health. Provides a snapshot of the physical and mental health of uninstitutionalized US children up to age 17.
Nationally, they found a statistically significant decrease in childhood asthma between 2011-2012 and 2016-2017. They haven’t seen any back down since then.
Asthma increased slightly among 12- to 17-year-olds and non-Hispanic children in states where cannabis use was legal for adult recreational use compared to states where it was illegal.
Goodwin led an earlier study that found cannabis use was seen in 12% of parents in states where recreational use is legal; 9.5% of those whose use was legal for medical use, and 6% were illegal.
“Increased adult cannabis use across the United States may inadvertently influence asthma among young adults,” Goodwin said. [21 and older] Use and Marketing In the United States, an evidence base is urgently needed to inform lawmakers, policymakers, clinicians, and the public about the potential health impact of increased exposure of children to secondhand cannabis smoke.”
She noted that no clinical or public education about children’s exposure is routinely given to parents.
Asthma is the most common chronic condition in US children, affecting about 5 million.
“While tremendous progress has been made in managing asthma in concert with tobacco control over the past several decades, the possibility that increased adult cannabis use may present new risks requires further in-depth study,” Goodwin said.
In particular, researchers need to know if secondhand cannabis smoke is associated with frequency of asthma attacks, use of rescue medications, missed school days, and emergency medical service, she said.
Goodwin called for more research to measure the consequences before — or at least at the same time as — the widespread commercialization of cannabis.
The results were recently published online in the journal Protective medicine.
More on the US National Library of Medicine Asthma in children.
Source: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, press release, January 11, 2023