Home Emergency Medicine 2005 to 2019 Saw Rise in Cannabis-Related Emergency Visits for Older Adults

2005 to 2019 Saw Rise in Cannabis-Related Emergency Visits for Older Adults

Authors say providers should routinely ask older adults about cannabis use

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 30, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The rate of cannabis-related emergency department visits increased significantly for adults aged 65 years and older from 2005 to 2019, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Benjamin H. Han, M.D., from University of California San Diego, and colleagues examined trends in cannabis-related emergency department visits among older adults. The analysis included data from all acute care hospitals in California from 2005 to 2019.

The researchers found that the cannabis-related emergency department visit rate increased from 20.7 per 100,000 visits in 2005 to 395.0 per 100,000 visits in 2019, a 1,804 percent relative increase. In 2019, the highest emergency department visit rate was for older Black adults and they had the largest absolute increase. Older men had a higher visit rate in 2019 and a greater absolute increase compared with older women. Furthermore, older adults with a higher Charlson comorbidity score had a higher emergency department visit rate in 2019 and a larger absolute increase during the study period.

“Asking about cannabis use and providing education about its use should be a part of routine medical care for older adults,” the authors write.

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