Objectives: We aimed to describe and correlate the hospital panorama of psychotic disorders (PD) with cannabis use (CU) trends in all Portuguese public hospitals.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational study that analysed all hospitalizations that occurred in Portuguese public hospitals from 2000 to 2015. Hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of PD or schizophrenia were selected based on Clinical Classification Software diagnostic single-level 659. Episodes associated with CU were identified by the International Classification of Diseases Version 9, Clinical Modification code 304.3/305.2 that correspond to cannabis dependence/cannabis abuse.
Results: The number of hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of PD and schizophrenia associated with CU rose 29.4 times during the study period, from 20 to 588 hospitalizations yearly (2000 and 2015, respectively) with a total of 3,233 hospitalizations and an average episode cost of €3,500. Male patients represented 89.8% of all episodes, and the mean/median age at discharge were 30.66/29.00 years, respectively. From all hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of PD or schizophrenia, the ones with a secondary diagnosis of CU rose from 0.87% in 2000 to 10.60% in 2015.
Conclusions: The increase on secondary diagnosis coding and the change on cannabis patterns of consumption in Portuguese population with an increasing frequency of moderate/high dosage cannabis consumers may explain the rise on PD hospitalizations.
Keywords: cannabis; epidemiology; health service; psychoses; public mental health.
© 2019 The Authors International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research Published by John Wiley Sons Ltd.