Posted on Jun 08, 2018, 12 a.m.
In the United States the proportion of deaths which are opioid related has increased 292% in 15 years, as published in JAMA Network Open.
Percentage of deaths attributable to opioids within the USA has increased by 292% from 2001 to 2016, that means 1 in 65 deaths are related to opioid use. Numbers varied by sex and age group, with men accounting for close to 70%, and the highest burden for illicit and prescribed premature death was among young adults aged 24 to 35 years being 1 in 5 deaths related to opioids.
This study was conducted using the CDC’s WONDER Multiple Cause Of Death Database Record which captures mortality and population across the USA by sex and age to expand on results in Canadian populations. 1,681,359 years of life were lost prematurely due to opioid related causes in 2016, exceeding years lost each year from HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, and hypertension in the USA. The dramatic impact of opioid related harms across all demographics are reflected in the numbers.
This is not an isolated public health issue, it is one that spans across all of North America, despite the amount of attention that has been placed on loss of life prematurely due to opioids and the devastating effects that they can have. Absence of multidisciplinary approaches to the issue that combine access to treatment, education, and harm reduction contribute partially, this is a crisis that will continue to impact North America for generations.
Materials provided by St. Michael's Hospital.
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Tara Gomes, Mina Tadrous, Muhammad M. Mamdani, J. Michael Paterson, David N. Juurlink. The Burden of Opioid-Related Mortality in the United States. JAMA Network Open, 2018; 1 (2): e180217 DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0217