Smoking Pot Related to Higher Lung Disease Risk in HIV-Positive Men

Researchers compared lung disease diagnoses among groups of HIV-positive and HIV-negative men who reported marijuana use.

This article points to some interesting research and was written by Benjamin Ryan from Poz.com   


Among men who have sex with men (MSM) living with HIV, smoking marijuana is associated with a higher risk of both infectious and noninfectious lung diseases.

Publishing their findings in EClinicalMedicine, researchers studied 1996 to 2014 data on men from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), a long-term observational cohort of HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM. Participants eligible for this particular prospective cohort study were 30 years old or older and had provided self-reported data on marijuana and tobacco smoking during biannual study visits.

The study included 1,352 HIV-positive men who were matched with the same number of HIV-negative men according to race and the age at which they entered the study. Between them, the cohort members made 53,794 study visits and were followed for a median of 10.5 years.

Twenty-seven percent of the HIV-positive men and 18 percent of the HIV-negative men reported smoking marijuana daily or weekly during one or more years of follow-up, for use that lasted for a median of 4.0 and 4.5 years, respectively.

The cohort members received 1,630 diagnoses of lung diseases during follow-up. A total of 33.2 percent of the HIV-positive men and 21.5 percent of the HIV-negative men were diagnosed with infectious lung disease, and a respective 20.6 percent and 17.2 percent were diagnosed with noninfectious lung disease.

Among the men living with HIV, recent marijuana smoking was associated with a 43 percent higher risk of infectious lung disease and a 54 percent higher risk of noninfectious lung disease independent of tobacco smoking and other risk factors for lung disease. When HIV-positive men smoked both marijuana and tobacco, these risks were higher.

There was no association between recent marijuana smoking and lung disease risk among the HIV-negative men.

The study’s strength included its large sample size, the high number of lung diagnoses and the lenghty follow-up time.

“These findings could be used to reduce modifiable risks of lung disease in high-risk populations,” the study authors concluded.

To read the study, click here.