Schizophrenia and the Environment: Within-Person Analyses May be Required to Yield Evidence of Unconfounded and Causal Association-The Example of Cannabis and Psychosis
Schizophr Bull. 2021 Mar 8:sbab019. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbab019. Online ahead of print.
Hypotheses about the link between cannabis use and psychosis apply to the within-person level but have been tested mostly at the between-person level. We used a within-person design, in which a person serves as his own control, thus removing the need to consider confounding by any fixed (genetic and nongenetic) characteristic to study the prospective association between cannabis use and the incidence of attenuated psychotic experiences, and vice versa, adjusted for time-varying confounders. We combined 2 general population cohorts (at baseline: Early Developmental Stages of Psychopathology Study, n = 1395; Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study-2, n = 6603), which applied a similar methodology to study cannabis use and attenuated psychotic experiences with repeated interviews (T0, T1, T2, and T3) over a period of approximately 10 years. The Hausman test was significant for the adjusted models, indicating the validity of the fixed-effects model. In the adjusted fixed-effects model, prior cannabis use was associated with psychotic experiences (aOR = 7.03, 95% CI: 2.39, 20.69), whereas prior psychotic experiences were not associated with cannabis use (aOR = 0.59, 95% CI: 0.21, 1.71). Longitudinal studies applying random-effects models to study associations between risk factors and mental health outcomes, as well as reverse causality, may not yield precise estimates. Cannabis likely impacts causally on psychosis but not the other way round.
Source: ncbi 2
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