Abscess infections and malnutrition - a cross-sectional study of polydrug addicts in Oslo, Norway


Publication date


Series/Report no

Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation;


Informa Healthcare

Document type


Injection drug use and malnutrition are widespread among polydrug addicts in Oslo, Norway, but little is known about the frequency of abscess infections and possible relations to malnutrition. Objectives. To assess the prevalence of abscess infections, and differences in nutritional status between drug addicts with or without abscess infections. Design. A cross-sectional study of 195 polydrug addicts encompassing interview of demographics, dietary recall, anthropometric measurements and biochemical analyses. All respondents were under the influence of illicit drugs and were not participating in any drug treatment or rehabilitation program at the time of investigation. Results. Abscess infections were reported by 25% of the respondents, 19% of the men and 33% of the women (p = 0.025). Underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg/m2) was significantly more prevalent in the abscess infected than in the non-abscess-infected group (p = 0.001). The abscess-infected addicts reported fewer meals, lower intakes of fruits and vegetables, lower energy percentage (E%) from protein and higher E% from sugar. They also had lower total intakes of vitamins D, B1, B6, B12, folic acid and vitamin C than the non-abscess-infected group. The two groups differed significantly with respect to S-C-peptide (p = 0.042) and B-HbA1c (p = 0.012), and the prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia (P-tHCY > 15 μmol/L) was 73% in the abscess-infected group and 41% in the non-abscess-infected group (p = 0.001). The concentrations of S-25-hydroxy-vitamin D3 was very low. Conclusion. The prevalence of abscess infections was 25% among the examined polydrug addicts. Dietary, anthropometric and biochemical assessment indicated a relation between abscess infections and malnutrition



Postprint version of published article

Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/2027