Most Opioid Use Concentrated in Top 10 Percent of Users

Share this content:
Most Opioid Use Concentrated in Top 10 Percent of Users
Most Opioid Use Concentrated in Top 10 Percent of Users

TUESDAY, Sept. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The top 10 percent of privately insured U.S. adults without cancer using opioids account for most opioid use, according to a research letter published online Sept. 12 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Eric C. Sun, M.D., Ph.D., from Stanford University in California, and Anupam B. Jena, M.D., Ph.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, used data from the MarketScan database on pharmacy claims for 20,499,750 privately insured individuals aged 18 to 64 years without cancer to examine the extent to which population-level opioid use among privately insured adults was concentrated among a few opioid users. The total annual morphine equivalents (MEQs) were calculated for each patient in the sample. The final sample consisted of 19,530,587 patients and 31,156,099 person-year observations.

The researchers found that in 2013, the top 5 percent of opioid users accounted for 59 percent of all MEQs and that the top 10 percent accounted for 76 percent. In 2001, the top 5 and 10 percent accounted for 55 and 69 percent of all MEQs, respectively. Compared with other users, the top 10 percent of opioid users were older and more likely to be male.

"Extrapolating to the entire U.S. population of prescription opioid users -- approximately 100 million -- suggests that 10 million persons account for most U.S. opioid use," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »


Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

Trending Activities

All Professions

More in Home

Air Pollution May Damage Kidneys

Air Pollution May Damage Kidneys

Study finds link between particulate matter and renal function

Diabetes Treatment Failure May Actually Be Nonadherence

Diabetes Treatment Failure May Actually Be Nonadherence

Second-line treatment often initiated without evidence of recommended use of first-line treatment

Effect of Osteoporotic Fractures Similar to Diabetes Burden

Effect of Osteoporotic Fractures Similar to Diabetes Burden

Findings for quality of life with hip fractures, vertebral compression vs. vision loss, amputation

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »