Substance abuse disorder may increase spinal infection rate, study finds: 3 insights

Written by Shayna Korol | February 08, 2019 | Print  | Email

Growing rates of substance abuse disorders may have triggered a significant increase in the incidence of spinal infections in discharged patients in Washington, according to a study in Spine.

Three things to know:

1. The study authors assessed Washington State Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System data over a 15-year period, searching for all conditions regarded as spinal infection as well as major known infection-related risk factors.

2. Researchers found the proportion of spinal infections among discharged patients has increased approximately 40 percent since 2012.

3. When the study authors analyzed spinal infection-related risk factors, they found that the rate of substance use disorders and malnutrition had changed the most, with drug dependence increasing threefold during the examined period.

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