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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


CASTANEDA, Carmen Paz et al. Cannabis use among hospitalized young people experiencing a first episode of psychosis: a case control study. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2020, vol.148, n.11, pp.1606-1613. ISSN 0034-9887.


Cannabis use among young people in Chile has increased significantly in the last years. There is a consistent link between cannabis and psychosis.


To compare cannabis use in patients with a first episode of psychosis and healthy controls.

Material and Methods:

We included 74 patients aged 20 ± 3 years (78% males) admitted to hospital with a first episode of psychosis and a group of 60 healthy controls aged 23 ± 4 years (63% males). Cannabis consumption was assessed, including age of first time use and length of regular use.


Patients with psychosis reported a non-significantly higher frequency of life-time cannabis use. Patients had longer periods of regular cannabis use compared with healthy subjects (Odds ratio [OR] 2.4; 95% confi-dence intervals [CI] 1.14-5.05). Patients also used cannabis for the first time at an earlier age (16 compared with 17 years, p < 0.0). The population attributable fraction for regular cannabis use associated with hospital admissions due to psychosis was 17.7% (95% CI 1.2-45.5%).


Cannabis use is related to psychosis in this Chilean group of patients. This relationship is stronger in patients with early exposure to the drug and longer the regular use. One of every five admissions due to psychosis is associated with cannabis consumption. These data should influence cannabis legisla-tion and the public policies currently being discussed in Chile.

Keywords : Cannabis; Case-Control Studies; Psychotic Disorders.

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