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Opioid-related diagnoses and HIV, HCV and mental disorders: using Pennsylvania hospitalisation data to assess community-level relationships over space and time
  1. Natalie Sumetsky,
  2. Jessica G Burke,
  3. Christina Mair
  1. Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christina Mair, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA; cmair{at}


Background We assessed the community-level spatiotemporal connexions between hospitalisations for common opioid comorbidities (HIV, hepatitis C (HCV) and mental disorders) and opioid-related hospitalisations in the current and previous year.

Methods We used Bayesian hierarchical spatiotemporal Poisson regression with conditionally autoregressive spatial effects to assess counts of HCV-related, HIV-related and mental disorder–related hospitalisations at the ZIP code level from 2004 to 2014 in Pennsylvania. Models included rates of current-year and previous-year opioid-related hospitalisations as well as covariates measuring demographic and environmental characteristics.

Results After adjusting for measures of demographic and environmental characteristics, current-year and previous-year opioid-related hospitalisations were associated with higher risk of HCV, HIV and mental disorders. The relative risks and 95% credible intervals for previous-year opioid-related hospitalisations were 1.092 (1.078 to 1.106) for HCV, 1.098 (1.068 to 1.126) for HIV and 1.020 (1.013 to 1.027) for mental disorders.

Conclusion Previous-year opioid-related hospitalisations are connected to common comorbid conditions such as HCV, HIV and mental disorders, illustrating some of the broader health-related impacts of the opioid epidemic. Public health interventions focused on the opioid epidemic must consider individual community needs and comorbid diagnoses.

  • substance abuse
  • spatial analysis
  • HIV
  • hepatitis
  • mental health

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  • Contributors NS conducted all analyses, interpreted results and drafted the manuscript. CM conceptualised and designed analyses, interpreted results and revised the manuscript. JGB conceptualised analyses and revised the manuscript.

  • Funding Funding for this project came from the National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant No. R03 DA043373.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available.