Trends and Predictors of Mortality for US Opioid Overdoses from 2003 to 2014

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Most opioid overdose patients were male and lived in the Southern United States (39.3%).

The following article is part of conference coverage from the IASP 2018 conference in Boston, Massachusetts. Clinical Pain Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in pain medicine. Check back for the latest news from IASP 2018.

Rates of opioid overdose hospitalizations increased between 2003 and 2014 in the United States, primarily for Caucasians in the South; factors associated with a higher mortality from opioid overdose also include younger age and male gender, according to a study to be presented at the 2018 World Congress on Pain, held September 12-16 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Considering the prevalence of opioid overdose and poisoning in the United States, and the accompanying high rates of addiction and death, researchers analyzed Nationwide Inpatient Sample data on opioid overdose from 2003 to 2014 to identify predictors of mortality, regional disparities, cost of inpatient hospital stay, and yearly trends. The data showed 149,483 patients who were discharged with a primary or secondary opioid poisoning diagnosis (ICD-9 Code 965.xx) in the United States during this time period. Binary logistic regression was used to study region, race, sex, and age as independent predictors of mortality.

Of the 149,220 patients admitted for opioid overdose, 2.6% died. The median age of these overdose patients was 47 years old, and 81.1% were Caucasian. Most opioid overdose patients were male and lived in the Southern United States (39.3%). The Northeast had 17.5% of opioid overdose cases, compared with 21.3% in the West and 21.9% in the Midwest. Yearly hospital admissions for opioid overdose have increased over the study timespan, from 7864 overdoses in 2003 to 15,165 overdoses in 2014. The total cost per inpatient admission also increased to $37,281 in 2014 compared with $17,156 in 2003.

Study investigators concluded that “further prospective studies are warranted to better understand the increasing [opioid overdose] admission rates, and an effective, targeted approach should be developed for [use] within the higher mortality demographic.”

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Gupta S, Sung V. Hospitalizations for opioid overdoses in the United States from 2003-2014. Trends from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample and Predictors of Mortality. Presented at the World Congress on Pain 2018; September 12-16, 2018; Boston, MA. Poster 65409.

For more coverage of IASP 2018, click here.