We sought to explore the effect of crystal methamphetamine use on the risk of experiencing malnutrition among street-involved youth in Vancouver, Canada. Risk of malnutrition was defined as being hungry but not having enough money to buy food. Socio-demographic and drug use factors associated with risk of malnutrition were investigated using univariate and multivariate analysis among a prospective cohort of street-involved youth known as the At-Risk Youth Study (ARYS). Between September 2005 and December 2006, 509 street-involved youth were enrolled in ARYS, among whom 21% reported being at risk of malnutrition as defined above in the previous six months. In multivariate analysis, only non-injection crystal methamphetamine was significantly associated with being at risk of malnutrition among this cohort (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 1.60, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.03-2.48, p = 0.036). Interventions seeking to address food insecurity among street youth may benefit from considering drug use patterns since methamphetamine use predicted higher risk in this setting.
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