NYMC Faculty Publications

Trends and Outcomes of Opioid-Related Cardiac Arrest in a Contemporary US Population

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European Journal of Internal Medicine

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Letter to the Editor

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BACKGROUND: Opioid abuse is a worldwide public health issue, and deaths related to opioid abuse are increasing. We aimed to investigate trends, predictors, and outcomes of cardiac arrest in patients with opioid abuse. METHODS: All hospitalizations for primary diagnosis of cardiac arrest between 2012 and 2018 identified in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample were categorized into those with or without a secondary diagnosis of opioid overdose. Multivariable logistic regression was used to analyze in-hospital outcomes of opioid-associated cardiac arrest after adjusting for patient and hospital characteristics. RESULTS: Among 1,410,475 hospitalizations with cardiac arrest, opiate abuse as a secondary diagnosis was found in 3.1% (n=43,090) of hospitalizations, with an increasing trend during the study period. Hospitalizations for cardiac arrest with opioid abuse were seen less likely in patients with heart failure (21.2% vs. 40.6%; p<0.05), diabetes mellitus (19.5% vs. 35.4%; p<0.05), hypertension (43.4% vs. 64.9%; p<0.05) and renal failure (14.3% vs. 30.2%; p<0.05) and more frequently in those with history of alcohol abuse (16.9% vs. 7.1%; p<0.05), depression (18.8% vs. 9%; p<0.05), and smoking (37.0% vs. 21.8%; p<0.05) as compared with cardiac arrest without opioid use. In-hospital mortality in cardiac arrest patients with and without opioids was not different after multivariable adjustment (odds ratio OR 0.96, 0.91-1.00; p=0.07). OA-OHCA was associated with significantly higher risks of acute kidney injury, acute respiratory failure, and mechanical ventilation, p<0.05 for all. CONCLUSION: Opioid abuse remains a significant cause of cardiac arrest. Despite similar in-hospital mortality and lower resource utilization, severe complications are more frequent in opioid abuse related cardiac arrests compared to those without opioid abuse.