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Genetic Insights into the causal relationship between cannabis use and diabetic phenotypes: A genetic correlation and Mendelian randomization study.

BACKGROUND: Previous studies have highlighted the association between cannabis use and diabetes and its complications; however, the causality remains ambiguous.

METHODS: Univariate Mendelian randomization (MR), multivariate MR, mediation MR, and linkage disequilibrium score (LDSC) analysis to assess the causal relationship between cannabis use and 12 diabetic phenotypes. Summary statistics for lifetime cannabis use (N = 184,765) and cannabis use disorder (CUD) (N = 374,287) from genome-wide association studies. The primary method used was inverse-variance-weighted (IVW). A range of sensitivity analyses ensured the robustness of the results.

RESULTS: LDSC analysis revealed a significant genetic correlation between CUD and T2DM, as well as between lifetime cannabis use and four diabetic phenotypes (P < 0.05). After correction by false discovery rate (FDR), the primary IVW analysis indicates that the genetically predicted CUD is positively associated with the risk of diabetic hypoglycemia (OR = 1.11, 95% CI 1.04-1.20, P = 0.003, PFDR = 0.04) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) (OR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.04-1.19, P = 4.89×10-4 , PFDR =0.01). Additionally, suggestive evidence links CUD with increased risks of diabetic nephropathy, type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), diabetic retinopathy, and T1DM associated with diabetic ketoacidosis (P < 0.05 & PFDR > 0.05). No causal relationship was detected between lifetime cannabis use and diabetic phenotypes (P > 0.05 & PFDR > 0.05). Multivariable and mediation MR analyses revealed that glycated hemoglobin A1c partially mediates the causal effect of CUD on PDR and diabetic hypoglycemia.

CONCLUSION: This MR study suggests that CUD may have a causal role in several diabetic disease phenotypes.

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