Cerebrovascular Events and Hospital Discharge Outcomes Associated With Drug Use: A Retrospective Case-Matched Study


Introduction Individuals using cocaine, methamphetamines, cannabis, and other mood-altering drugs (MADs) have been reported to have greater stroke risk when compared to individuals who do not use these drugs. Yet, the impact that MAD use has on stroke outcomes has not been adequately explored, with existing research not agreeing on the extent to which the use of these drugs influences stroke outcomes. This study aimed to determine the impact that the use of common MADs has on stroke outcome factors such as length of stay (LOS), discharge modified Rankin Scale (mRS), and discharge disposition. Methods A retrospective case-matched study was conducted with two adult cohorts treated for cerebrovascular accidents: those who use MADs and those who do not use MADs prior to their stroke. Subjects identified for the users of MADs cohort were matched at a 1:1 ratio to those who do not use MADs (control cohort) by age, sex, and stroke type (e.g., hemorrhagic or ischemic). Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios for functional outcomes for stroke patients with and without prior MAD use. Results Active users of MADs had an increased overall risk of poor stroke outcome, i.e., increased length of stay, discharge disposition other than to home or to rehabilitation, discharge modified Rankin scale (mRS) 3-6 after controlling for stroke severity from initial National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) (X2{9}=21.68, p

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