Introduction A local substance misuse study and anecdotal evidence from primary care suggested many methadone patients have respiratory disease and/or respiratory prescriptions.
Method This exploratory study used a historical cohort design with matched controls. Analysis of PCCIU (Primary Care Clinical Informatics Unit) GP consultation data were conducted. The prevalence of respiratory diseases and respiratory prescriptions between drug misusers and controls were compared.
Results The PCCIU consultation data were taken from a cohort of 18 570 patients (9285 per group), of whom, 64% (n=11 885) were male and 75.7% (n=14 060) were aged 31–59 years. The results revealed an increased prevalence of chronic respiratory disease in drug misusers vs controls. Drug misusers were more likely to be prescribed chronic respiratory disease medications than controls. Adjustment for smoking status revealed drug misusers still have significantly increased odds of having respiratory disease and/or receiving respiratory prescriptions. (Abstract P1-276 table 1).
Conclusion These data suggest drug misusers have a significantly higher prevalence of respiratory diseases and are prescribed significantly more respiratory medications than matched controls. This exploratory study has set the scene for future work to explore possible reasons for this association.
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