Medical Comorbidities in Patients with Alcohol Dependence Does Nicotine Matter?
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Background and aims: Substance use disorders are associated with adverse health consequences. The present study aimed to find whether additional nicotine dependence was associated with greater rates of medical morbidity among patients with alcohol dependence.
Methods: The study was conducted at a de-addiction centre attached to a tertiary-care hospital in South India. Presence of medical comorbidities was assessed through selfreport supplemented by medical records. The rates of medical comorbidities were compared between those having only alcohol dependence, and those with both alcohol and nicotine dependence.
Results: The present study included 102 patients with concurrent alcohol and nicotine dependence and 20 patients with only alcohol dependence. The overall occurrence of medical comorbidity in the entire sample was 66.4%, with gastritis being the commonest. The rates of medical disorders did not statistically differ between those with alcohol dependence and those with concurrent alcohol and nicotine dependence.
Conclusion: A large proportion of patients with alcohol use disorders presenting to a tertiary care center have medical comorbidities. In the current study, it was not possible to determine if concurrent nicotine dependence increased the risk of medical comorbidities.