Methamphetamine causes considerable short- and long-term adverse health effects. Our aim was to assess the effects of methamphetamine use on pulmonary hypertension and lung diseases at the population level.
This population-based retrospective study used data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database between 2000 and 2018 that included 18,118 individuals with methamphetamine use disorder (MUD) and 90,590 matched participants of the same age and sex without substance use disorder as the non-exposed group. A conditional logistic regression model was used to estimate associations of methamphetamine use with pulmonary hypertension and lung diseases such as lung abscess, empyema, pneumonia, emphysema, pleurisy, pneumothorax, or pulmonary hemorrhage. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of pulmonary hypertension and hospitalization due to lung diseases were determined between the methamphetamine group and non-methamphetamine group using negative binomial regression models.
During an 8-year observation period, 32 (0.2%) individuals with MUD and 66 (0.1%) non-methamphetamine participants suffered from pulmonary hypertension, and 2652 (14.6%) individuals with MUD and 6157 (6.8%) non-methamphetamine participants suffered from lung diseases. After adjusting for demographic characteristics and comorbidities, individuals with MUD were 1.78 times (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.07-2.95) more likely to have pulmonary hypertension and 1.98 times (95% CI = 1.88-2.08) more likely to have a lung disease, especially emphysema, lung abscess, and pneumonia in descending order. Furthermore, compared to the non-methamphetamine group, the methamphetamine group was associated with higher risks of hospitalization caused by pulmonary hypertension and lung diseases. The respective IRRs were 2.79 and 1.67. Individuals with polysubstance use disorder were associated with higher risks of empyema, lung abscess, and pneumonia compared to individuals with MUD alone, with respective adjusted odds ratios of 2.96, 2.21, and 1.67. However, pulmonary hypertension and emphysema did not differ significantly between MUD individuals with or without polysubstance use disorder.
Individuals with MUD were associated with higher risks of pulmonary hypertension and lung diseases. Clinicians need to ensure that a methamphetamine exposure history is obtained as part of the workup for these pulmonary diseases and provide timely management for this contributing factor.

Copyright © 2023 Sociedade Portuguesa de Pneumologia. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.