Purpose To explore the association between illicit drug use (IDU) and cardiometabolic disease risk factors (CDRF) in a nationally representative sample of adults. Methods The 2005-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys data from 20- to 45-year-old adults (n = 8738) were utilised to analyze the relationship between IDU (ever used, repeated use and current use) and CDRF (hyperlipidemia, hyperinsulinemia, hypertension, elevated C-reactive protein, body mass index, waist circumference and cigarette use) via chi square and logistic regression analyses. Age, gender, race/ethnicity, education level, poverty to income ratio (PIR), and alcohol use were included as confounders in the models. Results Individuals who reported drug use (DU) at least once in lifetime were more likely to have CDRF than non-DU (NDU) (OR = 1.3, p = 0.004). Females with DU, IDU at least once in lifetime, and with repeated IDU were about 1.5 times more likely than their NDU counterparts to have CDRF (p < 0.0001, p = 0.02, p = 0.02, respectively). Conclusion Results from this study suggest that healthcare professionals should be aware that patients with a history of DU may be at heightened risk for cardiometabolic disease. Females in particular have a heightened cluster of CDRF across drug-use categories.
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