Abstract 577: Medical Marijuana Use: Effect on Lipid Metabolism and Atherosclerosis
Background: Dyslipidemia and aortic (Ao) and carotid (Ca) atherosclerosis are common in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Medical use of Marijuana is common in SLE. Marijuana use has been associated with stroke and myocardial infarction in isolated case reports and limited and retrospective series. In contrast, Marijuana in atherogenic animal models has resulted in favorable lipid metabolism and inhibition of atherosclerosis. However, there are limited data on the effect of medical Marijuana on the lipid profile and atherosclerosis in humans.
Methods: 76 SLE patients (69 women, age 38 ± 12 years) underwent laboratory evaluations including lipid profile [total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides levels in mg/dL] and Ca ultrasonography and transesophageal echocardiography for assessment of Ca and Ao atherosclerosis, respectively. Atherosclerosis was defined as intima-media thickening (mean intima-media thickness in 26 healthy controls+2SD) or plaques (as >50% focal intima-media thickening as compared with surrounding walls). Fifteen (20%) patients were regular users of medical Marijuana (≥3 times per week for ≥1 year).
Results: As shown in Table 1, Marijuana users versus non-users had lower total and LDL cholesterol (both p ≤0.006) and triglycerides (p=0.13). Also, Ao and Ca intima media thickness, intima-media thickening, or plaques were similar in users and non-users.
Conclusions: Medical Marijuana use in SLE patients may not have a detrimental effect on lipid metabolism or atherogenesis. These findings are preliminary and need confirmation in a larger controlled study.
Author Disclosures: C. Ponce Orellana: None. P. Roldan: None. W. Sibbitt: None. C. Qualls: None. C. Roldan: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.