Changes in infective endocarditis admissions in pennsylvania during the opioid epidemic

Jessica A. Meisner, Judith Anesi, Xinwei Chen, David Grande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background. With the current opioid crisis in the United States, infectious complications related to injection drug use are increasingly reported. Pennsylvania is at the epicenter of the opioid crisis, with the third highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States. Methods. A retrospective cohort study was performed using the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council database of all residents hospitalized for infective endocarditis (IE) in an acute care hospital from 1 January 2013 through 31 March 2017. Patients were separated into those with and those without substance use via diagnosis codes. The primary outcome was length of stay. Secondarily, we evaluated demographics, infection history, hospital charges, and insurance status. Results. Of the 17 224 hospitalizations, 1921 (11.1%) were in patients with drug use-associated IE (DU-IE). Total quarterly IE admissions increased 20%, with a 6.5% increase in non-drug use-associated IE (non-DU-IE) admissions and a 238% increase in DU-IE admissions. In adjusted models, DU-IE was not associated with significant changes in length of stay (incidence rate ratio, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, .975-1.072; P = .36). Patients with DU-IE were predominantly insured by Medicaid (68.3% vs 13.4% for non-DU-IE), they had higher hospital charges ($86 622 vs $66 802), and they were more likely to leave against medical advice (15.7% vs 1.1%) (all P < .001). Conclusions. Our study demonstrates an increase in IE admissions, driven by an increase in admissions for DU-IE. The higher charges, proportion of patients on Medicaid, and rates of leaving against medical advice among the DU-IE group shows the downstream effects of the opioid crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1664-1670
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Endocarditis
  • Injection drug use
  • Opioid epidemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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