The impact of obesity in patients hospitalized with opioid/opiate overdose

Paul Archibald, Kavitha Subramoney, Hind A. Beydoun, Ché Matthew Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although a direct link between opioid use in obese patients and risk of overdose has not been established, obesity is highly associated with higher risk for opioid/opiate overdose. Evidence for clinical impact of obesity on patients with opioid/opiate overdose is scarce. The aim of this study was to determine effects of obesity on health-care outcomes and mortality trends in hospitalized patients who presented with opioid/opiate overdose in the United States between 2010 and 2014. Design: Multivariate logistic and linear regression analysis compared clinical outcomes and hospital resource utilization between obese and nonobese patients. Trend analysis of in-hospital mortality was also analyzed. Setting: United States. Participants: 302,863 adults ≥ 18 years and hospitalized with a principle diagnosis of opioid/opiate overdoses between 2010 and 2014. Measurements: Primary measurement was in-hospital mortality. Secondary measurements included respiratory failure, cardiogenic shock, mechanical ventilations/intubations, hospital charges, and length of stay. Findings: Prevalence for in-hospital mortality was lower in patients with obesity (2.2% vs 2.9%). Obese patients had higher adjusted odds for respiratory failure (aOR = 1.7, [(CI) 1.6–1.8]) and mechanical ventilation/intubation (aOR = 1.17, [(CI) 1.10–1.2]). They also had longer length of stays (aMD = 0.4 days, [(CI) 0.25–0.58 days] and higher total hospital charges (aMD = $5,561, [(CI) $3,638–$7,483]. Trends of in-hospital mortality for patients with obesity did not significantly increase (2.1% in 2010 to 2.4% in 2014, p trend = 0.37), but significantly increased for obese patients (2.4% in 2010 to 3.4% in 2014; p trend <0.01). Conclusions: Prevalence and trends of mortality were lower in patients with obesity hospitalized for opiate/opioid overdose compared to those without obesity between 2010 and 2014 in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-259
Number of pages7
JournalSubstance Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Hospitalizations
  • United States
  • hospital mortality
  • large database
  • obesity
  • opioid/opiate overdose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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