Resource Center

Go back to Resource Center

Prevalence of obesity for opioid- and stimulant-dependent participants in substance use treatment clinical trials


Journal Article

Hu, L.; Matthews, A.; Shmueli-Blumberg, D.; Killeen, T. K.; Tai, B.; VanVeldhuisen, P.



Drug Alcohol Depend




Adult Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects *Central Nervous System Stimulants/adverse effects *Clinical Trials as Topic/methods Female Humans Male Middle Aged National Institute on Drug Abuse (U.S.)/trends Nutrition Surveys/methods/*trends Obesity/diagnosis Prevalence Treatment Outcome United States/epidemiology Body mass index Clinical trial Obesity Opioid dependence Standardized prevalence ratio Stimulant dependence

AIMS: To estimate obesity prevalence among drug-dependent individuals and to compare prevalence across different types of drug dependence. METHODS: 1596 opioid- and/or stimulant-dependent participants were extracted from six clinical trials within the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA CTN) to estimate obesity prevalence among drug-dependent users. Age-, sex-, and race-matched National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) samples were used as a general population reference. Standardized prevalence ratios (SPRs) were calculated to compare the CTN sample to NHANES as well as to compare within the CTN sample. Logistic regression estimated associations between the type of drug dependence and obesity. RESULTS: The standardized obesity prevalence among the drug-dependent CTN trial participants was 67% of expected for age-, sex- and race-matched NIHANES participants (SPR = 0.67, 95% CI: 0.60-0.74). Obesity was least prevalent among opioid-dependent-only participants (SPR = 0.36, 95% CI: 0.27-0.46 compared to the NHANES, and SPR = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.23-0.46 compared to the stimulant-dependent-only participants). Compared to stimulant-dependent-only users (p < 0.0001), the odds of obesity were 67% lower among opioid-dependent-only users (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.23-0.46) and 33% lower among opioid and stimulant-co-dependent users (AOR = 0.67, 95%CI: 0.49-0.90) after controlling for age, sex, race, education and employment pattern. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of obesity among drug-dependent clinical trial participants was lower than the general population, and lowest among opioid-dependent-only users, suggesting an inverse relationship between obesity prevalence and drug dependence, most notable among opioid-dependent-only users.

Go back to Resource Center