BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Alcohol use disorders (AUD) have not been included in the priority groups for early vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. We aimed to determine adverse outcomes after SARS-CoV-2 infection among individuals with AUD and how this is modified by vaccination.
DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: This was a registry-based cohort study carried out in Denmark, 27 February 2020 to 15 October 2021, comprising 2157 individuals with AUD and 237 541 without AUD who had had a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection during the study period.
MEASUREMENTS: The association of AUD with the absolute and relative risk of hospitalization, intensive care and 60-day mortality after SARS-CoV-2 infection and of all-cause mortality throughout the follow-up period were measured. Potential interactions with SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, education and sex were explored in stratified analyses and tested by including interaction terms and using likelihood ratio tests.
FINDINGS: Individuals with AUD had an increased absolute and relative risk of adverse outcomes, including hospitalization [incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.51-1.95], intensive care (IRR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.07-2.02) and 60-day mortality [mortality rate ratio (MRR) = 2.35, 95% CI = 1.94-2.85] compared with SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals without AUD. Irrespective of AUD, highest risks of these adverse health outcomes were observed for individuals not vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 infection, for individuals of low educational level and in males. However, for all-cause mortality throughout the follow-up period, SARS-CoV-2 infection showed a lower relative mortality risk increase, whereas being unvaccinated showed a higher relative mortality risk increase, in individuals with AUD than in the reference population without AUD (P of interaction tests < 0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: Both alcohol use disorder and being unvaccinated for SARS-CoV-2 appear to be independent risk factors for adverse health outcomes following SARS-CoV-2 infection.