Gender differences in physical morbidity in opioid agonist treatment patients: population-based cohort studies from the Czech Republic and Norway
Background: Physical health problems are common in people receiving opioid agonist treatment (OAT). A study was conducted on these health issues in OAT patients in the Czech Republic and Norway from 2010 to 2019, with a focus on gender differences.
Methods: In this study, it was a population-based cohort study that linked multiple health records to investigate physical diseases (using ICD-10 codes) in patients receiving OAT in the Czech Republic (4,280 patients) and Norway (11,389 patients) from 2010 to 2019. A gender-stratified analysis was performed.
Results: The study found that both male and female OAT patients experienced a high prevalence of physical health problems. Female OAT patients exhibited a higher incidence of health issues across most categories, including genitourinary problems and cancer. Injuries, infections, and hepatitis were also prevalent.
Conclusion: The findings highlight the importance of early health screening, detection, and treatment for OAT patients across various health domains. Tailored approaches may be necessary to address the specific medical conditions experienced by men and women in OAT.