An AUD is diagnosed when problem drinking becomes severe, and may be identified by means of validated tools including the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Epidemiologic data from 2014 indicate that 16.3 million adults suffer from AUDs in the US. AUDs have a major impact on the development of pneumonia, the most common cause of death from infectious disease in the US that itself imposes an economic burden of more than $17 billion annually. AUDs are a definite risk factor for the development of pneumonia, and when pneumonia occurs in these patients, it is often complicated by extra-pulmonary disease, including development of bacteremia, sepsis, and septic shock, with attendant poor outcomes. Notably, patients with AUDs having pneumonia or sepsis are at a two-fold increased risk of developing the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), characterized by the acute onset of non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema and respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. ARDS carries a mortality risk of 29-42%, and is responsible for 75,000 deaths annually in the US. Analogous to outcomes in AUD-associated pneumonia, patients with AUD-associated ARDS fare still more poorly, requiring prolonged hospitalizations and having a mortality of 59-65%. Therefore, Colorado Pulmonary Alcohol Research Consortium (CoPARC) investigations hope to improve understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanisms contributing to increased morbidity in pneumonia and ARDS among patients with AUDs, as these conditions are of substantial public health importance. To develop new interventions for individuals with AUDs that decrease their predisposition for pneumonia, with the support of the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA), we have developed CoPARC to conduct translational investigations to complement and extend basic science observations. The goal of CoPARC is to serve as a readily accessible biorepository of data and clinical samples from subjects with alcohol use disorders and controls. While our primary focus is on pulmonary processes affected by alcohol, we hope to extend our resources to support the research in other organ systems that contribute to critical illness in these individuals.
How can CoPARC help you?
- Access to a biorepository of specimens/data from otherwise healthy subjects with alcohol abuse and dependence, who are otherwise healthy, and matched controls. Cigarette smoking and cannabis smoking histories are collected from all subjects and controls.
- Access to a biorepository of specimens/data from mechanically ventilated patients with respiratory failure from pulmonary conditions including pneumonia and ARDS, including patients with and without an AUD history.
- Access to a biorepository of specimens/data from patients with severe burn injuries, including inhalation injury, including patients with and without an AUD history.
- Facilitate collaboration with a consortium of investigators with basic and clinical research experience in the field of alcohol-related pulmonary diseases to aid in experimental designs and extend investigative projects.