Older patients are presenting to emergency rooms with complaints related to marijuana use in greater numbers than ever before, according to research just published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Based on a trend analysis of California Department of Healthcare Access and Information records, the researchers reported that the rate of cannabis-related visits by patients 65 years of age and older increased from 20.7 per 100,000 visits to 395 visits/100,000 between 2005 and 2019—a relative increase of 1,804%. They noted that this tracks with increased use of cannabis products across the United States and advised asking about cannabis use when treating older individuals. It’s important for the urgent care provider to bear in mind that potential ill effects of marijuana use are not limited to seniors, however, as seen in a JUCM case report concerning a 20-year-old who presented with a pneumomediastinum related to smoking marijuana.

As Legal Marijuana Becomes More Common, so Do Associated Acute Care Visits by Older Adults
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