Substance Use by Adults with Medical Multimorbidity in the United States, 2015–2016

  • Benjamin H. HanEmail author
  • Roxanne Ko
  • Joseph J. Palamar
Concise Research Reports


Adults with medical multimorbidity, usually defined as ≥ 2 concurrent chronic conditions, have high rates of healthcare utilization and often receive poorly coordinated care.1 Living with medical multimorbidity usually includes taking multiple medications and careful monitoring of individual diseases. The intersection of substance use and chronic disease is complex,2 as substance use can have negative effects on chronic diseases and its management.

However, few studies have focused on the intersection of chronic medical disease and substance use, especially among adults with multimorbidity. Therefore, the objective for this study was to use cross-sectional data from a nationally representative sample of adults in the United States (US) to estimate the prevalence of substance use among adults with chronic medical diseases, and to determine correlates of substance use among adults with medical multimorbidity.


Data were utilized from the 2015–2016 National Survey on...



The authors would like to thank Charles M. Cleland, PhD, for his statistical advice and mentorship on the revision for this paper.

Funding Information

This research was funded by the following grants through the National Institutes of Health: K23DA043651 (Han) and K01DA038800 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Palamar) and T35AG050998-01 from the National Institute on Aging (Ko). The National Institutes of Health provided financial support for the project and the preparation of the manuscript but did not have a role in the design of the study, the analysis of the data, the writing of the manuscript, nor the decision to submit the present research.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.


The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin H. Han
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Roxanne Ko
    • 4
  • Joseph J. Palamar
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care New York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Population HealthNew York University Langone Medical Center New YorkUSA
  3. 3.Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV ResearchNYU College of Global Public HealthNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.John A. Burns School of MedicineUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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