J Infect Dis. 2020 Sep 2;222(Supplement_5):S458-S464. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa129.
BACKGROUND: While increases in overdoses, viral hepatitis, and endocarditis associated with drug use have been well-documented in North Carolina, the full scope of invasive drug-related infections (IDRIs) has not. We characterized trends in IDRIs among hospitalized patients in North Carolina.
METHODS: We compared invasive infections that were related or not related to drug use among hospitalized patients aged 18-55 years based on retrospective review of administrative records from 2010-2018. Hospitalizations for endocarditis, central nervous system/spine infections, osteomyelitis, and septic arthritis were labeled as IDRIs if discharge codes included opioid and/or amphetamine misuse. Trends, rates, and distributions were calculated.
RESULTS: Among 44 851 hospitalizations for the specified infections, 2830 (6.3%) were IDRIs. The proportion of infections attributable to drug use increased from 1.5% (2010) to 13.1% (2018), and the rate grew from 1.2 to 15.1 per 100 000. Compared with those who had non-drug-related infections, patients with IDRIs were younger (median age, 35 vs 46 years), more likely to be non-Hispanic white (81% vs 56%), and had longer hospitalizations (median, 8 vs 6 days). 43% of hospitalizations for IDRIs involved infective endocarditis.
CONCLUSIONS: The rate of IDRIs in North Carolina increased substantially during 2010-2018, indicating an urgent need for enhanced infection prevention, harm reduction, and addiction services aimed at community and inpatient settings.