Substances use disorders associated with COVID-19 sensitivity

News release

Monday, September 14, 2020

A national institute of health-funded studies was found People with substance use disorder (SUD) are more susceptible to COVID-19 and its complications. The research, published today Molecular psychiatry, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Nora D. Was co-authored by Volco. The findings suggest that health care providers should closely monitor patients with SUD and develop action plans to help protect them from infection and serious consequences.

By analyzing the non-identifiable electronic health records (EHRs) of millions of patients in the United States, the team of investigators revealed that 10.3% of the total study population represented individuals with a SUD representing 15.6% of COIDID-19. Cases. The analysis showed that those with a recent SUD diagnosis on record were more likely than those without COVID-19 to develop, an effect that was strongest for opioid use disorder, followed by tobacco use disorder. Individuals with a SUD diagnosis were also likely to experience worse COVID-19 outcomes (hospitalization, death) than people without SUD.

“Vox and the cardiovascular system are often compromised in people with SUD, which may partly explain their increased susceptibility to COVID-19,” Dr. Volco said. “Another contributing factor is marginalization of intoxicated people, which makes it difficult for them to access health care services. It is up to physicians to meet the unique challenges of caring for this sensitive population, just as they would for any other at-risk group. ”

Dr. of NIDA Volkow and Rong Xu, PhD at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, analyzed EHR data collected as of June 15, 2020 at 360 hospitals nationwide. EHRs were identified to ensure confidentiality.

The study population consisted of more than 73 million patients, of which more than 7.5 million were diagnosed with a SUD at some point in their lives. More than 12,000 were diagnosed with COVID-19, and approximately 1,880 had both SUD and COVID-19 diagnoses on record. The types of SUDs in the study were tobacco, alcohol, opioids, cannabis and cocaine.

The complex effects of SUD were reflected in the increased results of COVID-19. Hospitalization and mortality rates of COVID-19 patients were all increased compared to those with recorded SUD (41.0% vs. 30.1% and 9.6% vs. 6.6%, respectively).

Additionally, African Americans with a recent diagnosis of an opioid use disorder were four times more likely to develop COVID-19 than whites. Results showed that hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and kidney diseases, which are risk factors for COVID-19, were more prevalent in African Americans with opioid use disorder than whites.

According to the authors, the study’s findings underscore the need to screen for, and treat, SUDs as part of a strategy to control the epidemic. Additional research needs to be done to better understand how to treat those with SUD who are at risk for COVID-19 and how to avoid the risk of infection.

* This research was funded by NIDA, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute on Aging, all parts of NIH, as well as the American Cancer Society and the Clinical and Translational Science Dareative of Cleveland.

About National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a component of the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports much of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. The institute conducts a variety of programs to inform policy, improve practice and addiction to science. The fact sheet on the health effects of medicines and information about NIDA research and other activities can be viewed at, which is compatible with your smartphone, iPad or tablet. To order publication in English or Spanish, call NIDA’s DrugPubs Research Dissemination Center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or email requests to [email protected] Do it The online order is available at NIDA’s media guide can be found at, and its easy-to-read website can be found at You can follow NIDA Twitter And Facebook.

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