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Cannabis use, pain interference, and prescription opioid receipt among persons with HIV: a target trial emulation study.

Becker WC, Li Y, Caniglia EC, Vickers-Smith R, Feinberg T, Marshall BDL, Edelman EJ. Cannabis use, pain interference, and prescription opioid receipt among persons with HIV: a target trial emulation study. AIDS Care. 2022 Apr 1; 34(4):469-477.

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Concomitant with expanded legalization, cannabis is increasingly used to treat chronic pain among persons with HIV (PWH), despite equivocal benefit in research limited by small sample sizes and short duration of follow-up. To address these limitations, among a sample of PWH with pain interference enrolled in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study, we performed a target trial emulation study to compare the impact of four cannabis use strategies on pain interference. Among those receiving long-term opioid therapy (LTOT), we also explored impact of these strategies on? = 25% LTOT dose reduction. Among the analytic sample (? = 1284), the majority were men with a mean age of 50. Approximately 31% used cannabis and 12% received LTOT at baseline. Adjusting for demographic and clinical factors, cannabis use in any of 4 longitudinal patterns was not associated with resolved pain interference over 12- to 24-month follow-up. Among 153 participants receiving LTOT at baseline, cannabis use at both baseline and follow-up was negatively associated with LTOT dose reduction compared to no use at both baseline and follow-up. These findings support other observational studies finding no association between cannabis use and improved chronic pain or LTOT reduction among PWH.

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