Association of Treatment With Medications for Opioid Use Disorder With Mortality After Hospitalization for Injection Drug Use-Associated Infective Endocarditis

Simeon D Kimmel, Alexander Y Walley, Yijing Li, Benjamin P Linas, Sara Lodi, Dana Bernson, Roger D Weiss, Jeffrey H Samet, Marc R Larochelle
JAMA Network Open 2020 October 1, 3 (10): e2016228

Importance: Although hospitalizations for injection drug use-associated infective endocarditis (IDU-IE) have increased during the opioid crisis, utilization of and mortality associated with receipt of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) after discharge from the hospital among patients with IDU-IE are unknown.

Objective: To assess the proportion of patients receiving MOUD after hospitalization for IDU-IE and the association of MOUD receipt with mortality.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study used a population registry with person-level medical claims, prescription monitoring program, mortality, and substance use treatment data from Massachusetts between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2015; IDU-IE-related discharges between July 1, 2011, and June, 30, 2015, were analyzed. All Massachusetts residents aged 18 to 64 years with a first hospitalization for IDU-IE were included; IDU-IE was defined as any hospitalization with a diagnosis of endocarditis and at least 1 claim in the prior 6 months for OUD, drug use, or hepatitis C and with 2-month survival after hospital discharge. Data were analyzed from November 11, 2018, to June 23, 2020.

Exposure: Receipt of MOUD, defined as any treatment with methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone, within 3 months after hospital discharge excluding discharge month for IDU-IE.

Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was all-cause mortality. The proportion of patients who received MOUD in the 3 months after hospital discharge was calculated. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to examine the association of MOUD receipt with mortality, adjusting for sex, age, medical and psychiatric comorbidities, and homelessness. In the secondary analysis, receipt of MOUD was considered as a monthly time-varying exposure.

Results: Of 679 individuals with IDU-IE, 413 (60.8%) were male, the mean (SD) age was 39.2 (12.1) years, 298 (43.9%) were aged 18 to 34 years, 419 (72.3) had mental illness, and 209 (30.8) experienced homelessness. A total of 134 individuals (19.7%) received MOUD in the 3 months before hospitalization and 165 (24.3%) in the 3 months after hospital discharge. Of those who received MOUD after discharge, 112 (67.9%) received buprenorphine. The crude mortality rate was 9.2 deaths per 100 person-years. MOUD receipt within 3 months after discharge was not associated with reduced mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.29; 95% CI, 0.61-2.72); however, MOUD receipt was associated with reduced mortality in the month that MOUD was received (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.10-0.89).

Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, receipt of MOUD was associated with reduced mortality after hospitalization for injection drug use-associated endocarditis only in the month it was received. Efforts to improve MOUD initiation and retention after IDU-IE hospitalization may be beneficial.

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