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Injecting Illegal Drugs Ups Risk for Death After Heart Surgery

Last Updated: November 13, 2019.

People who inject drugs (PWID) have shorter survival following cardiac surgery than non-PWID, according to a review published online Nov. 8 in BMC Infectious Diseases.

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People who inject drugs (PWID) have shorter survival following cardiac surgery than non-PWID, according to a review published online Nov. 8 in BMC Infectious Diseases.

David Goodman-Meza, M.D., from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies that examined long-term outcomes after cardiac surgery for infective endocarditis in PWID.

Based on 27 included studies (19 with data provided), the researchers found that PWID were younger and more likely to have Staphylococcus aureus than non-PWID. In PWID, survival at 30 days, one year, five years, and 10 years after cardiac surgery was 94.3, 81.0, 62.1, and 56.6 percent, respectively, versus 96.4, 85.0, 70.3, and 63.4 percent, respectively, among non-PWID. PWID had a greater risk for death versus non-PWID (hazard ratio, 1.47) and a greater risk for reoperation (hazard ratio, 2.37).

"Implementing evidence-based interventions and testing new modalities are urgently needed to improve outcomes in PWID after cardiac surgery," the authors write.

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