To examine the incidence, time trends, and outcomes of alcohol use disorder (AUD) hospitalizations in people with gout, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, or low back pain (LBP).
We used the US National Inpatient Sample data from 1998 to 2016. We examined the rates of AUD hospitalizations in musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs), based on the presence of diagnostic codes for AUD in the primary and MSDs in a secondary position. Multivariable-adjusted (age, sex, race, and income) health care utilization and in-hospital mortality were compared by the presence/absence of MSDs, using linear or logistic regression.
Alcohol use disorder hospitalizations increased over the 19-year study period from 1998 to 2014 to 3-fold higher in gout, osteoarthritis, or LBP; 3.5-fold in RA; and 4.5-fold in fibromyalgia. Compared with AUD hospitalizations in people without each respective MSD, adjusted total hospital charges were $3913 higher in people with gout and $1368 to $1614 lower for osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, or LBP over the study period (all significant) and not significantly different for RA. The adjusted odds of hospital stay of more than 3 days were significantly higher for all 5 MSDs, with odds ratio ranging 1.10 for LBP to 1.34 for gout. The adjusted odds of in-hospital mortality were significantly lower for all 5 MSDs, with odds ratio ranging from 0.21 for fibromyalgia to 0.50 for gout.
In a national US study, the rate of AUD hospitalizations increased in all 5 MSDs. Providers and patients with MSDs should be counseled regarding the risk and impact of alcohol use. Interventions to reduce AUD hospitalization-associated health care burden in MSD are needed.

Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.