Vaccinated people who depend on alcohol, cigarettes or illegal drugs have a higher risk of coronary infection despite immunization.
According to researchers from Case Western Reserve University and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people who compulsively use substances such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and opioids have a higher risk of breakthrough infections – ie corona infection despite complete vaccination against Covid-19 so-called substance use disorder. , or abbreviated SUD (substance use disorder).
For a study published in the journal World Psychiatry, a team led by Pamela Davis electronically estimated the health data of nearly 580,000 people with and without drugs in the U.S. who were completely against Covid-19 between December 1, 2020 and August 14, 2021 were vaccinated and who had not been infected with Covid-19 prior to vaccination (see box).
Stoners stand out from the crowd
The evaluation showed that the risk of breakthrough infection is higher in people with substance use disorders than in people without these disorders. For example, seven percent of those vaccinated against the drug experienced progress during the study, compared with only 3.6 percent of those vaccinated without addiction disorder. How big the risk is depends on the substance consumed: for tobacco it is 6.8 percent, for opioids 7.1 percent, for alcohol 7.2 percent, cocaine 7.7 percent and cannabis 7.8 percent.
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This is how the study went
The researchers determined the percentage of people in each group who became infected with Sars-CoV-2 at least two weeks after the last vaccination. This analysis was repeated after assessing patients with and without substance abuse disorders for demographic characteristics, socioeconomic factors that affect health, such as: B. insecure housing or employment and lifelong physical illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity or diabetes. The team also examined whether fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections had a different risk of hospitalization and death than comparable people without breakthrough infections.
After the authors of the study ruled out unfavorable socio-economic health factors such as age and other diseases, the risk of a breakthrough infection no longer differed significantly. They appear to be largely responsible for the increased risk of Covid-19 breakthrough infections, the statement said.
The exceptions were those who had COURT cannabis. These people were still 55 percent more likely to get a breakthrough infection than people without addiction problems, even though they were more likely to be younger and have fewer comorbidities.
Davis and her colleagues have no explanation for this: “This could suggest that additional variables, such as behavioral factors or the negative effects of cannabis on lung and immune function, could contribute to a higher risk of breakthrough infection in this group.”
Different grades of the study
A previous analysis done in the early stages of a pandemic showed that people with SUD are at increased risk of Sars-CoV-2 infection. They are also more likely to develop a serious illness that requires hospitalization or death. The researchers concluded that this is especially true for colored people with drug addiction. The results of the new study “emphasize that the same risk factors that affect the severity of Covid-19 are still risk factors for penetrating infections,” Davis said. “This means that the treatment of persistent diseases in addition to Covid-19 is still very important for both patients and physicians to reduce overall morbidity.”
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Paul Armentano, deputy director of the US National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law, is less confident in the results: The study “asks more questions than it answers,” he was quoted as saying in a press release. It is not yet clear what the risk of Covid-19 is for cannabis users who do not suffer from SUD. He further criticizes the fact that the examined data come only from persons diagnosed with cannabis use disorder. However, they represent only a “small and special subgroup” of cannabis users. “From these results, we cannot conclude whether and what increased risk these unclassified users have – who make up the vast majority of marijuana users.”
In fact, the study has some limitations. For example, it is an observational study. In other words, it is not clear whether the diagnoses are correct. It also includes only data from people who have been in contact with the U.S. health care system. People who live very far away in the country or do not have papers can be left out. The study also says nothing about the severity of breakthrough infections.