Cannabis Use Doubles Risk for Ketoacidosis in Type 1 Diabetes

Cannabis use appears to be associated with an increased risk for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) among people with type 1 diabetes, new research finds.

The results, from the T1D Exchange clinic registry (T1DX), were published online October 18 in Diabetes Care by Gregory L. Kinney, MPH, PhD, from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, and colleagues.

Of 932 adults with type 1 diabetes, the risk for DKA among the 61 moderate cannabis users was more than twofold greater than in nonusers.

This result is similar to one in a study reported a year ago, which found that 30% of adults with type 1 diabetes surveyed admitted to using cannabis and that they, too, had a doubling of risk for DKA.

“Cannabis is a known addictive substance, and this potentially problematic aspect of cannabis use should be assessed in patients with type 1 diabetes. Providers should discuss with their patients who use cannabis the possibility of altered glycemic control, CHS [cannabis hyperemesis syndrome], and DKA,” Kinney and colleagues write.

Cannabis is now legal for medical or recreational use in more than half of U.S. states, and although cannabis use among people with type 1 diabetes is not well described in the literature, evidence from adolescents suggests that it does not differ from that in the general population, the authors note.

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