Prevalence and impact of comorbid chronic pain and cigarette smoking among people living with HIV

Lisa R. LaRowe, John D. Cleveland, Dustin M. Long, Shadi Nahvi, Edward R. Cachay, Katerina A. Christopoulos, Heidi M. Crane, Karen Cropsey, Sonia Napravnik, Conall O’Cleirigh, Jessica S. Merlin, Joseph W. Ditre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rates of chronic pain and cigarette smoking are each substantially higher among people living with HIV (PLWH) than in the general population. The goal of these analyses was to examine the prevalence and impact of comorbid chronic pain and cigarette smoking among PLWH. Participants included 3289 PLWH (83% male) who were recruited from five HIV clinics. As expected, the prevalence of smoking was higher among PLWH with chronic pain (41.9%), than PLWH without chronic pain (26.6%, p <.0001), and the prevalence of chronic pain was higher among current smokers (32.9%), than among former (23.6%) or never (17%) smokers (ps <.0001). PLWH who endorsed comorbid chronic pain and smoking (vs. nonsmokers without chronic pain) were more likely to report cocaine/crack and cannabis use, be prescribed long-term opioid therapy, and have virologic failure, even after controlling for relevant sociodemographic and substance-related variables (ps <.05). These results contribute to a growing empirical literature indicating that chronic pain and cigarette smoking frequently co-occur, and extend this work to a large sample of PLWH. Indeed, PLWH may benefit from interventions that are tailored to address bidirectional pain-smoking effects in the context of HIV.

Keywords

  • Chronic pain
  • cigarette smoking
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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