Nonmedical Opioid Pain Relievers and All-Cause Mortality: A 27-Year Follow-Up From the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study.
OBJECTIVES: We investigated whether nonmedical opioid pain reliever use is associated with higher mortality in the general US population. METHODS: We assessed the history of nonmedical opioid pain reliever use among 9985 people interviewed at baseline of the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program initiated in 1981 to 1983 in Baltimore, Maryland; St. Louis, Missouri; and Durham, North Carolina. We linked the data with the National Death Index through 2007. RESULTS: Nonmedical opioid pain reliever use was 1.4%. Compared with no nonmedical drug use, mortality was increased for nonmedical opioid pain reliever use (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.60; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01, 2.53) or nonmedical use of other drugs (HR = 1.31; 95% CI = 1.07, 1.62). Mortality was also higher for males and for those beginning nonmedical opioid pain reliever use before aged 15 years. CONCLUSIONS: A history of nonmedical opioid pain reliever use was associated with increased mortality, in particular for males and early onset users.
Cottler, LB; Hu, H; Smallwood, BA; Anthony, JC; Wu, L-T; Eaton, WW
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