People with substance use disorder — especially involving opioids or tobacco — are at a significantly higher risk for contracting COVID-19. What’s more, they also are more likely to develop a serious case of the virus and die, a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health has found.
Additionally, these findings mark still more examples of race-based health disparities that the pandemic has thrust into the spotlight.
The study, conducted by researchers at Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland MetroHealth System, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, looked at data from more than 73 million patients, focusing on people diagnosed with both substance use disorder and COVID-19.
They found that people diagnosed with substance use disorder in the last year were significantly more likely to develop COVID-19 than someone without a recent diagnosis, and that people diagnosed with a substance use disorder at some point in their lives were also at a higher risk than people without the disorder.
People with opioid use disorder, followed by tobacco use disorder, were at a particularly high risk, according to the study, which was published last week in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer