Substance use disorders linked to COVID-19 susceptibility

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (blue) heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (yellow), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.NIAID

By analyzing the non-identifiable electronic health records (EHR) of millions of patients in the United States, the team of investigators revealed that while individuals with an SUD constituted 10.3% of the total study population, they represented 15.6% of the COVID-19 cases. The analysis revealed that those with a recent SUD diagnosis on record were more likely than those without to develop COVID-19, an effect that was strongest for opioid use disorder, followed by tobacco use disorder.