Rural‐urban differences in hospitalizations for opioid use‐associated infective endocarditis in Kentucky, 2016‐2019
The Journal of Rural Health — Siddiqi K, Freeman PR, Fanucchi LC, et al. | June 21, 2021
Researchers sought to determine the Kentucky opioid use-associated infective endocarditis (OUA IE hospitalization rates, 2016-2019, delineating disparities in rural-urban residency trends, demographics, relevant comorbidities, and discharge disposition. In addition, they compared counties with and without syringe services programs (SSPs) with respect to their OUA IE hospitalization rates. Analysis of Kentucky statewide inpatient discharge records from 2016 to 2019 revealed OUA IE hospitalization rates of 8.9/100,000 in 2016 in Kentucky; there was no significant variation between rural and urban residents. The average rate for urban residents doubled to 17.9/100,000 by 2019, which was identified to be significantly higher than the rural resident rate, 13.2/100,000. Relative to national rates, Kentucky’s rates of OUA IE hospitalizations are 2 times higher in 2016, emphasizing Kentucky as one of the areas most affected by this particular opioid use disorder complication. Although they identified challenges and barriers to the effectiveness of SSPs as a harm reduction measure, their positive effect was evident that should be further examined.