For a study, researchers sought to look at the frequency, temporal trends, and consequences of alcohol use disorder (AUD) hospitalizations among persons who had gout, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, or low back pain (LBP). They used data from the US National Inpatient Sample from 1998 to 2016. They looked at the rates of AUD hospitalizations in musculoskeletal illnesses (MSDs) depending on the presence of diagnostic codes for AUD and MSDs in the primary and secondary positions. Using linear or logistic regression, multivariable-adjusted (age, gender, race, and income) health care usage and in-hospital mortality were compared by the presence/absence of MSDs.

Over the 19-year research period from 1998 to 2014, alcohol use disorder hospitalizations rose thrice in gout, osteoarthritis, or LBP; 3.5-fold in RA; and 4.5-fold in fibromyalgia. Over the research period, adjusted total hospital expenditures were $3913 higher in patients with gout and $1368 to $1614 lower in those with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, or LBP (all significant), but not substantially different in people with RA. All 5 MSDs had significantly increased adjusted risks of hospital stay of more than 3 days, with odds ratios ranging from 1.10 for LBP to 1.34 for gout. All 5 MSDs had considerably decreased adjusted risks of in-hospital mortality, with odds ratios ranging from 0.21 for fibromyalgia to 0.50 for gout. In nationwide research conducted in the United States, the rate of AUD hospitalizations rose in all 5 MSDs. Providers and patients with MSDs should be informed about the risks and consequences of alcohol usage. Interventions to decrease the healthcare burden associated with AUD hospitalization were required in MSD.