It is now possible to download a copy of the posters that I have presented at research conferences through my CV page.
This research is part of my PhD dissertation and I presented some preliminary results at the annual College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) in San Diego, CA on June 17th. The abstract is provided below along with a PowerPoint file of the poster I presented. A link to download the poster can also be found through my CV.
EVIDENCE FROM A CANNABIS USE DISORDERS MULTIPLE CAUSES MODEL FOR THE CANNABISTOBACCO COMBINATION KNOWN AS ‘BLUNTS’.
Brian Fairman, J C Anthony; Department of Epidemiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Aims: Globally, cannabis often is combined with tobacco before smoking. In the US, a prevailing cannabis-tobacco combination involves ‘blunts,’ made by substituting cannabis in a hollowed out tobacco cigar. Cannabis users with a history of blunt smoking seem to be at excess risk for cannabis use disorders (CUD). The aim here is to test a hypothesis that the profile of CUD clinical features is determined, in part, by blunt smoking history among cannabis smokers.
Methods: Data are from the nationally representative 2004 US National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), with 7054 recent cannabis smokers age 12+ years, all with past-year cannabis use (6+ times), and with valid CUD and lifetime blunt history assessment. Exploratory factor analysis probed CUD latent structure (e.g., 1 v 2 factor model fit). Then, via a multiple indicators, multiple causes model (MIMIC), the blunt smoking effect was estimated for each CUD clinical feature, holding constant CUD level.
Results: Roughly 3/4s of recent cannabis users had smoked blunts at least once. EFA supported a 1-factor solution, and MIMIC modeling disclosed that blunt smoking was independently associated with “tolerance on” and “spending a great deal of time getting/using” cannabis, with CUD level held contstant. Inverse blunt
associations were found for “giving up important activities”, “failure to fulfill roles”, and “continued use despite social problems” under this model (slope estimates: 0.18, 0.41, -0.25, -0.33, and -0.33, respectively; all p-values<0.02).
Conclusions: We discovered that blunt smoking seems to influence CUD clinical features, over and above CUD level. Whether the observed differences indicate substantive differences in blunt effects and/or disclose measurement bias are open questions. Answers to these questions will be needed if we are to make progress in our understanding of the epidemiology of the cannabis-tobacco combination.
Financial Support: NIDA T32DA021129 (BJF); K05DA015799 (JCA).
Fairman, B. J., & Anthony, J. C. (2012). Are early-onset cannabis smokers at an increased risk of depression spells? Journal of Affective Disorders, 138(1-2), 54–62. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2011.12.031
Link to Pubmed
Barondess, D. A., Meyer, E. M., Boinapally, P. M., Fairman, B., & Anthony, J. C. (2010). Epidemiological evidence on count processes in the formation of tobacco dependence. Nicotine & Tobacco Research: Official Journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 12(7), 734–741. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntq073
Link to Pubmed
I thought it might be time to update my blog by first posting the citations and abstracts for my current publications, starting in chronological order.
De Graaf, R., Radovanovic, M., van Laar, M., Fairman, B., Degenhardt, L., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., … Anthony, J. C. (2010). Early cannabis use and estimated risk of later onset of depression spells. Epidemiological evidence from the population-based WHO World Mental Health Survey Initiative. American Journal of Epidemiology, 172(2), 149–159.
Link to Pubmed
Early-onset cannabis use is widespread in many countries and might cause later onset of depression. Sound epidemiologic data across countries are missing. The authors estimated the suspected causal association that links early-onset (age or =17 years) risk of a depression spell, using data on 85,088 subjects from 17 countries participating in the population-based World Health Organization World Mental Health Survey Initiative (2001-2005). In all surveys, multistage household probability samples were evaluated with a fully structured diagnostic interview for assessment of psychiatric conditions. The association between early-onset cannabis use and later risk of a depression spell was studied using conditional logistic regression with local area matching of cases and controls, controlling for sex, age, tobacco use, and other mental health problems. The overall association was modest (controlled for sex and age, risk ratio = 1.5, 95% confidence interval: 1.4, 1.7), was statistically robust in 5 countries, and showed no sex difference. The association did not change appreciably with statistical adjustment for mental health problems, except for childhood conduct problems, which reduced the association to nonsignificance. This study did not allow differentiation of levels of cannabis use; this issue deserves consideration in future research.