This article is part of Pulmonology Advisor‘s coverage of the CHEST 2018 meeting, taking place in San Antonio, Texas. Our staff will report on medical research related to COPD, critical care medicine, and more conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from CHEST 2018.

SAN ANTONIO — Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who were opioid users were more likely to be intubated while hospitalized compared with nonopioid users, according to findings presented at the CHEST Annual Meeting, held October 6 to 10, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas.

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Researchers sought to determine the outcomes of patients hospitalized for COPD or a COPD exacerbation with a history of opioid abuse or dependence. They conducted a retrospective propensity score-matched analysis that used data from the 2010 to 2014 Nationwide Inpatient Sample database.

A total of 23,074 patients with a primary diagnosis of COPD or COPD exacerbation with and without a secondary diagnosis of opioid dependence or abuse. Mortality, noninvasive ventilation, endotracheal intubation, and hospital length of stay made up the main outcomes.

Patients who used opioids were more likely to be intubated during their hospitalization compared with nonopioid users (odds ratio [OR], 1.68; P <.05). However, there were no differences in mortality or noninvasive ventilation use between the groups (OR, 0.53 [P =.0182] and OR, 1.05 [P =.67], respectively). There was also no statistically significant difference in hospital length of stay (additional 0.042 days; P =.3).

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“Clinicians should be aware of the potential adverse respiratory outcomes of opioid dependence or abuse in patients who are hospitalized for COPD related complications,” the researchers concluded.

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Vazquez de Lara F, Rincon FB, Pondaiah S, Freites CO, Pan D, Mathew J. Effect of opioid abuse and dependence on outcomes of patients hospitalized with COPD: a 5-year analysis. Presented at: CHEST Annual Meeting 2018; October 6-10, 2018; San Antonio, TX.