Marijuana Smoking and Pneumonia Risk: Findings from the Multi-Center AIDS Cohort Study

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Donald P. Tashkin, MD

Dr. Donald Tashkin discusses how habitual marijuana smoking has been shown to impair the lung’s defense against infection (Tashkin Ann ATS 2015), implying that it might increase pneumonia risk. A few older epidemiologic studies support this possibility, but conflicting findings have been reported. HIV seropositive individuals are at particularly high risk of developing opportunistic infections, including pneumonia. We therefore examined whether marijuana increases the risk for pneumonia in participants in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), an ongoing prospective study of men who have sex with men (MSM) regarding the natural history of HIV infection.

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