*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on MedicalXpress.
An analysis of survey data from more than 280,000 young adults ages 18-35 showed that cannabis (marijuana) use was associated with increased risks of thoughts of suicide (suicidal ideation), suicide plan, and suicide attempt. These associations remained regardless of whether someone was also experiencing depression, and the risks were greater for women than for men. The study published online in JAMA Network Open and was conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health.
"While we cannot establish that cannabis use caused the increased suicidality we observed in this study, these associations warrant further research," said NIDA Director Nora Volkow, M.D., senior author of this study.
The number of adults in the United States who use cannabis more than doubled from 22.6 million in 2008 to 45.0 million in 2019, and the number of daily or near-daily users almost tripled from 3.6 million to 9.8 million in 2019. Over the same time span, the number of adults with depression also increased, as did the number of people who reported suicidal ideation or plan or who died by suicide. To date, however, the relationship between trends in cannabis use and suicidality is not well understood.
The current study sought to fill this gap.
The results of the study indicated that even people who used cannabis nondaily, fewer than 300 days a year, were more likely to have suicidal ideation and to plan or attempt suicide than those who did not use the drug at all. These associations remained regardless of whether someone was also experiencing depression. Among people without a major depressive episode, about 3% of those who did not use cannabis had suicidal ideation, compared with about 7% of those with nondaily cannabis use, about 9% of those with daily cannabis use, and 14% of those with a cannabis use disorder. Among people with depression, 35% of people who did not use cannabis had suicidal ideation, compared to 44% of those with nondaily cannabis use, 53% of those who used cannabis daily, and 50% of those who had a cannabis use disorder. Similar trends existed for the associations between different levels of cannabis use and suicide plan or attempt.
Moreover, the researchers found that women who used cannabis at any level were more likely to have suicidal ideation or report a suicide plan or attempt than men with the same levels of cannabis use.
*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Penn State News.
When parents who are fighting with each other draw their adolescent children into their conflicts, the children may perceive those conflicts very differently than their parents, according to a new Penn State study.
"Parents may not realize the impact they are having on their children," said Devin McCauley, a doctoral candidate in human development and family studies and principal investigator on the project.
Parents may bring their children into a conflict — called "triangulation" — for different reasons, such as to diffuse tension or to ask their children to side with them in an argument.
Involving children in verbal or physical hostility can be damaging, as children may blame themselves or feel threatened, McCauley noted. Possible outcomes from frequent triangulation can include depression, anxiety, behavioral issues, or trouble in school.
The research team analyzed data from 150 families with adolescents who were asked about occurrences of triangulation, interparental conflict, and their feelings of family cohesion once per day for 21 days. They found that on days when triangulation happened more often, the children reported significantly higher levels of interparental conflict and less feelings of family cohesion than their parents did.
McCauley said feelings of family cohesion — often resulting from emotional support from family members — can help bolster adolescents' well-being.
The findings were published in the Journal of Family Psychology.
*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
In a finding that confirms what many suspect, a new study shows that teens who are overweight or obese may be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes or have a heart attack in their 30s and 40s.
These teens are also more likely to have other health issues down the road, regardless of whether they shed any excess weight during adulthood.
"Adolescence is an important time period to prevent future diabetes and heart attacks," said study author Dr. Jason Nagata, an assistant professor of pediatrics in the division of adolescent and young adult medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
For the new study, the researchers analyzed data on 12,300 adolescents who were followed for 24 years as part of the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. The investigators tracked body mass index (BMI) z-scores. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight, and the z-score puts it into perspective based on a child's age and sex.
When compared with teens who had lower BMI-z scores, adolescents with higher scores had a nearly 9% increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, a 0.8% greater risk for having a heart attack in their 30s and 40s, and a 2.6% higher risk for being in overall poorer health, and this held regardless of their adult BMI. The researchers also controlled for other factors known to affect health outcomes, such as race/ethnicity, tobacco, and alcohol use.
"Parents should encourage teenagers to develop healthy behaviors, such as regular physical activity and balanced meals," Nagata said. Doctors should also consider BMI history in their evaluations, he added.
The findings were published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.