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2021 Jun 24

Int J Environ Res Public Health



Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain Medication, and in-Hospital Mortality among Patients with COVID-19 in South Korea: A Population-Based Cohort Study.



We aimed to investigate whether comorbid musculoskeletal disorders (MSD)s and pain medication use was associated with in-hospital mortality among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Adult patients (≥20 years old) with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis until 5 June 2020 were included in this study, based on the National Health Insurance COVID-19 database in South Korea. MSDs included osteoarthritis, neck pain, lower back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and others, while pain medication included paracetamol, gabapentin, pregabalin, glucocorticoid, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids (strong and weak opioids), and benzodiazepine. Primary endpoint was in-hospital mortality. A total of 7713 patients with COVID-19 were included, and in-hospital mortality was observed in 248 (3.2%) patients. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, no MSDs ( > 0.05) were significantly associated with in-hospital mortality. However, in-hospital mortality was 12.73 times higher in users of strong opioids (odds ratio: 12.73, 95% confidence interval: 2.44-16.64; = 0.002), while use of paracetamol ( = 0.973), gabapentin or pregabalin ( = 0.424), glucocorticoid ( = 0.673), NSAIDs ( = 0.979), weak opioids ( = 0.876), and benzodiazepine ( = 0.324) was not associated with in-hospital mortality. In South Korea, underlying MSDs were not associated with increased in-hospital mortality among patients with COVID-19. However, use of strong opioids was significantly associated with increased in-hospital mortality among the patients.