Opioid Use May Increase Risk for Invasive Pneumococcal Disease

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Opioid use is linked to an increased risk for invasive pneumococcal disease.
Opioid use is linked to an increased risk for invasive pneumococcal disease.

HealthDay News — Opioid use is associated with elevated risk for invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), especially for long-acting, high-potency, and high-dose opioids, according to a study published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Andrew D. Wiese, PhD, from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN, and colleagues conducted a nested case-control study to examine whether prescription opioid use is an independent risk factor for IPD.

A total of 1233 case patients with IPD aged 5 years and older were matched to 24,399 control participants based on date of diagnosis, age, and county of residence.

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The researchers found that persons in the case group had increased odds of being current opioid users compared with control participants (adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 1.62). The correlations were strongest for long-acting opioids (aOR, 1.87), high-potency opioids (aOR, 1.72), or use at high doses (50 to 90 morphine mg equivalents (MME)/day: aOR, 1.71; ≥90 MME/day: aOR, 1.75).

When the IPD risk score was taken into account and when pneumonia and non-pneumonia IPD were analyzed separately, the results were consistent.

"Opioid use is associated with an increased risk for IPD and represents a novel risk factor for these diseases," the authors write.

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Wiese AD, Griffin MR, Schaffner W, Stein M, et al. Opioid analgesic use and risk for invasive pneumococcal disease: a nested case-control study [published online February 13, 2018]. Ann Intern Med. doi: 10.7326/M17-1907

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