Substance use disorders and medical comorbidities among high-need, high-risk patients with diabetes.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats

Attention Stats


The majority of the U.S. healthcare resources are utilized by a small population characterized as high-risk, high-need persons with complex care needs (e.g., adults with multiple chronic conditions). Substance use disorders (SUDs) and mental health disorders (MHDs) are a driver of poor health and additional healthcare costs, but they are understudied among high-need patients.We examine the prevalence and correlates of SUDs and MHDs among adults with high-risk diabetes, who are patients at the top 10% risk score for developing poor outcomes (hospital admission or death).A risk algorithm developed from Duke University Health System electronic health records (EHRs) data was used to identify patients with high-risk diabetes for targeting home-based primary care. The EHR data of the 263 patients with high-risk diabetes were analyzed to understand patterns of SUDs and MHDs to inform care-coordinating efforts.Both SUDs (any SUD 48.3%, alcohol 12.5%, tobacco 38.8%, drug 23.2%) and MHDs (any MHD 74.9%, mood 53.2%, sleep 37.3%, anxiety 32.7%, schizophrenia/psychotics/delusional 14.8%, dementia/delirium/amnestic/cognitive 14.4%, adjustment 9.1%) were prevalent. Overall, 81.7% of the sample had SUD or MHD. Elevated odds of SUD were noted among men (tobacco, alcohol) and those who were never-married (alcohol, cannabis). African-American race (vs. other race/ethnicity) was associated with lower odds of anxiety disorders.While data are limited to one large academic health system, they provide clinical evidence revealing that 82% of patients with high-risk diabetes had SUD and/or MHD recorded in their EHRs, highlighting a need for developing service models to optimize high-risk care.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Wu, Li-Tzy, Udi E Ghitza, He Zhu, Susan Spratt, Marvin Swartz and Paolo Mannelli (2018). Substance use disorders and medical comorbidities among high-need, high-risk patients with diabetes. Drug and alcohol dependence, 186. pp. 86–93. 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.01.008 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.