NYMC Faculty Publications

Opioid Use Disorder in Admissions for Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Pancreatitis and 30-day Readmission Risk: A Nationwide Matched Analysis

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BACKGROUND: The opioid epidemic in the United States has been on the rise. Acute exacerbations of chronic pancreatitis (AECP) patients are at higher risk for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Evidence on OUD's impact on healthcare utilization, especially hospital re-admissions is scarce. We measured the impact of OUD on 30-day readmissions, in patients admitted with AECP from 2010 to 2014.

METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study which included patients with concurrently documented CP and acute pancreatitis as first two diagnoses, from the National Readmissions Database (NRD). Pancreatic cancer patients and those who left against medical advice were excluded. We compared the 30-day readmission risk between OUD-vs.-non-OUD, while adjusting for other confounders, using multivariable exact-matched [(EM); 18 confounders; n = 28,389] and non-EM regression/time-to-event analyses.

RESULTS: 189,585 patients were identified. 6589 (3.5%) had OUD. Mean age was 48.7 years and 57.5% were men. Length-of-stay (4.4 vs 3.9 days) and mean index hospitalization costs ($10,251 vs. $9174) were significantly higher in OUD-compared to non-OUD-patients (p < 0.001). The overall mean 30-day readmission rate was 27.3% (n = 51,806; 35.3% in OUD vs. 27.0% in non-OUD; p < 0.001). OUD patients were 25% more likely to be re-admitted during a 30-day period (EM-HR: 1.25; 95%CI: 1.16-1.36; p < 0.001), Majority of readmissions were pancreas-related (60%), especially AP. OUD cases' aggregate readmissions costs were $23.3 ± 1.5 million USD (n = 2289).

CONCLUSION: OUD contributes significantly to increased readmission risk in patients with AECP, with significant downstream healthcare costs. Measures against OUD in these patients, such as alternative pain-control therapies, may potentially alleviate such increase in health-care resource utilization.

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