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Patients with hidradenitis suppurativa at higher risk of substance use disorder

07 Sep 2018
Substance abuse among the elderly is dangerous and require special attention to address the underlying problems.

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is associated with an increased risk of substance use disorder (SUD), according to a US study. Patients with HS may benefit from periodic screening for substance abuse.

SUD prevalence among patients with HS was 4.0 percent (1,315/32,625) vs 2.0 percent (195,260/9,581,640) for those without HS (p<0.001). The most common forms of substance misuse among HS patients were as follows: alcohol (47.9 percent), opioids (32.7 percent) and cannabis (29.7 percent).

Patients with vs without HS had 1.50 (95 percent CI, 1.42–1.59) times the adjusted odds of SUD. The association between HS and SUD was generally stronger among the following: patients aged 45–64 years, nonwhites, privately insured, and those without depressive or anxiety disorder.

An earlier study found that patients at higher risk for prescription opioid misuse among those with SUD histories reported more pain and impairment, symptoms of depression, and were more likely to have current SUD compared to those at lower risk for misuse. Adjusted analysis showed pain catastrophizing to be significantly associated with risk for prescription opioid misuse. [Drug Alcohol Depend 2013;127:193-199]

In the present cross-sectional analysis that assessed SUD among HS patients in the US, the authors identified adult HS patients (n=32,625) using electronic health records data drawn from a population-based sample of >50 million patients.

One limitation of the study was that SUD might not have been accurately diagnosed, the authors said.

“Patients with HS experience chronic pain and have significant physical, emotional and psychological disease impact. These patients may be at risk for substance abuse,” they noted.

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