Disparities in United States hospitalizations for serious infections in patients with and without opioid use disorder: A nationwide observational study

Autoři: June-Ho Kim aff001;  Danielle R. Fine aff002;  Lily Li aff002;  Simeon D. Kimmel aff006;  Long H. Ngo aff002;  Joji Suzuki aff002;  Christin N. Price aff002;  Matthew V. Ronan aff011;  Shoshana J. Herzig aff002
Působiště autorů: Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff001;  Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff002;  Ariadne Labs, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff003;  Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff004;  Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff005;  Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff006;  Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff007;  Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff008;  Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff009;  Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff010;  Department of Medicine, West Roxbury VA Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America aff011
Vyšlo v časopise: Disparities in United States hospitalizations for serious infections in patients with and without opioid use disorder: A nationwide observational study. PLoS Med 17(8): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1003247
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003247



Patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) who are hospitalized for serious infections requiring prolonged intravenous antibiotics may face barriers to discharge, which could prolong hospital length of stay (LOS) and increase financial burden. We investigated differences in LOS, discharge disposition, and charges between hospitalizations for serious infections in patients with and without OUD.

Methods and findings

We utilized the 2016 National Inpatient Sample—a nationally representative database of all discharges from US acute care hospitals. The population of interest was all hospitalizations for infective endocarditis, epidural abscess, septic arthritis, or osteomyelitis. The exposure was OUD, and the primary outcome was LOS until discharge, assessed by using a competing risks analysis to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs). Adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of discharge disposition and adjusted differences in hospital charges were also reported. Of 95,470 estimated hospitalizations for serious infections (infective endocarditis, epidural abscess, septic arthritis, and osteomyelitis), the mean age was 49 years and 35% were female. 46% had Medicare (government-based insurance coverage for people age 65+ years), and 70% were non-Hispanic white. After adjustment for potential confounders, OUD was associated with a lower probability of discharge at any given LOS (aHR 0.61; 95% CI 0.59–0.63; p < 0.001). OUD was also associated with lower odds of discharge to home (aOR 0.38; 95% CI 0.33–0.43; p < 0.001) and higher odds of discharge to a post-acute care facility (aOR 1.85; 95% CI 1.57–2.17; p < 0.001) or patient-directed discharge (also referred to as “discharge against medical advice”) (aOR 3.47; 95% CI 2.80–4.29; p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in average total hospital charges, though daily hospital charges were significantly lower for patients with OUD. Limitations include the potential for unmeasured confounders and the use of billing codes to identify cohorts.


Our findings suggest that among hospitalizations for some serious infections, those involving patients with OUD were associated with longer LOS, higher odds of discharge to post-acute care facilities or patient-directed discharge, and similar total hospital charges, despite lower daily charges. These findings highlight opportunities to improve care for patients with OUD hospitalized with serious infections, and to reduce the growing associated costs.

Klíčová slova:

Antibiotics – Health care facilities – Hospitalizations – Hospitals – Inpatients – Medical risk factors – Nosocomial infections – Opioids


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