Schizophrenia: what is the main risk factor in young men?
A new Danish study once again points to the link between cannabis use in young men and the onset of schizophrenia.
In a new study published earlier this week in the journal Psychological medicine, Danish researchers show that 30% of cases of schizophrenia in young men aged 21 to 30 are linked to a cannabis use.
For this new study, scientists studied the medical records of nearly 7 million patients aged 16 to 49of which 45,327 cases of schizophrenia during the follow-up years (from 1972 to 2021). They thus discovered that men and women did not have the same sensitivity to cannabis and that “the proportion of schizophrenia cases attributable to cannabis use disorder was much higher in males than in females, and particularly in younger males whose brains are still maturing.” researchers.
Cannabis: 5 times more likely to suffer from schizophrenia
This is not the first time that Danish researchers have linked cannabis use to schizophrenia. In 2019, Dr Stine Mai Nielsen and Prof Merete Nordentoft from Copenhagen University Hospital studied the medical records of more than 3 million patients to see if there was a link between high cannabis use and the possibility of developing schizophrenia or another psychiatric disorder.
Their research, presented in Milan at the Congress of the International Early Psychosis Association, showed that the risk of being schizophrenic increases as follows:
“Our results show a strong association between almost all types of substance abuse and an increased risk of developing schizophrenia later in life,” said the Danish researchers, still wondering about the origin of this link. It is indeed, for the moment, impossible to prove if it is drug abuse that causes schizophrenia or if it is a predisposition to schizophrenia that also leads to addiction.
Source :Association between cannabis use disorder and schizophrenia stronger in young males than in femalesPsychological medicine, May 2023