Review of Neurologic Comorbidities in Hospitalized Patients With Opioid Abuse

Kevin R. Nelson, Katelyn Dolbec, William Watson, Hanwen Yuan, Mam Ibraheem

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of ReviewTo determine the prevalence and burden of neurologic comorbidities in hospitalized patients with opioid abuse.Recent FindingsFrom 1 year of hospital discharges, 2,182 patients with opioid abuse were identified (prevalence 6.3%), with abuse greater among younger patients (p < 0.0001), women (p < 0.0001), Whites (p < 0.0001), and urban population (p = 0.028). Matching for age, sex, race, and urban-rural residence, 347 patients were reviewed, and 179 (52%) had a neurologic comorbidity. The comorbidities frequently overlapped and included encephalopathy (130), neuromuscular disorders (42), seizures (23), spine disorders (23), strokes (20), CNS infections (3), and movement disorders (2). Abuse patients with neurologic comorbidities experienced substantially greater number of hospital and intensive care unit days and mortality, independent of overdose.SummaryNeurologic comorbidities are a frequent and heretofore underappreciated contributor to the disease burden of hospitalized patients with opioid abuse. The importance of neurologic comorbidities should be included in the public health discussions surrounding the opioid epidemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-533
Number of pages7
JournalNeurology: Clinical Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© American Academy of Neurology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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