High cardiovascular risk in older patients with opioid use disorder: Differences with the general population.
Cardiovascular disease is a health concern in ageing population with opioid use disorders (OUD). The study aims to analyse the cardiovascular risk factors in individuals with OUD.An observational study was carried out to compare cardiovascular risk factors of adults >50 years with OUD on methadone therapy from public outpatient drug treatment centres, with that of an age- and gender-matched sample (ratio of 1:5) of subjects from a sample of the Spanish population (REGICOR cohort). High cardiovascular risk (HCVR) at 10 years was defined according to Framingham-REGICOR and SCORE risk functions.The individuals studied included 94 people with OUD and 495 from the general population; the mean age was 55.7 ± 4.8 years and 432 (72.7%) were men. Obesity (21.2% vs. 35.2%), hypertension (26.3% vs. 42.1%), total cholesterol (30.3% vs. 65.4%) and LDL-cholesterol ≥130 mg/dL (27.2% vs. 59.3%) were significantly more prevalent in the general population group, while tobacco smoking (96.0% vs. 25.9%), low HDL-cholesterol (46.5% vs. 21.2%), hypertriglyceridaemia (39.4% vs. 18.8%) and atherogenic dyslipidaemia (30.3% vs. 10.5%) were significantly higher in individuals with OUD. Differences in abdominal obesity (62.6% vs. 65.3%) were not significant. HCVR was more prevalent in patients with OUD: 15.2% versus 5.8% (Framingham-REGICOR function) and 21.2% versus 11.3% (SCORE function).Older adults with OUD on methadone therapy have a different prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and HCVR than the general population. Preventive measures, particularly tobacco smoking cessation and weight control, should be included in the routine care of individuals with OUD.