Opioid Use Disorder and Overdose in Older Adults With Breast, Colorectal, or Prostate Cancer.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Despite high rates of opioid therapy, evidence about the risk of preventable opioid harms among cancer survivors is underdeveloped. Our objective was to estimate the odds of opioid use disorder (OUD) and overdose following breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer diagnosis among Medicare beneficiaries. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using 2007-2014 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data for cancer survivors with a first cancer diagnosis of stage 0-III breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer at age 66-89 years between 2008 and 2013. Cancer survivors were matched to up to 2 noncancer controls on age, sex, and Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results region. Using Firth logistic regression, we estimated adjusted 1-year odds of OUD or nonfatal opioid overdose associated with a cancer diagnosis. We also estimated adjusted odds of OUD and overdose separately and by cancer stage, prior opioid use, and follow-up time. RESULTS: Among 69 889 cancer survivors and 125 007 controls, the unadjusted rates of OUD or nonfatal overdose were 25.2, 27.1, 38.9, and 12.4 events per 10 000 patients in the noncancer, breast, colorectal, and prostate samples, respectively. There was no association between cancer and OUD. Colorectal survivors had 2.3 times higher odds of opioid overdose compared with matched controls (adjusted odds ratio = 2.33, 95% confidence interval  = 1.49 to 3.67). Additionally, overdose risk was greater in those with more advanced disease, no prior opioid use, and preexisting mental health conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Opioid overdose was a rare, but statistically significant, outcome following stage II-III colorectal cancer diagnosis, particularly among previously opioid-naïve patients. These patients may require heightened screening and intervention to prevent inadvertent adverse opioid harms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Roberts, AW; Eiffert, S; Wulff-Burchfield, EM; Dusetzina, SB; Check, DK

Published Date

  • April 6, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 113 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 425 - 433

PubMed ID

  • 32805032

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8023814

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1460-2105

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/jnci/djaa122


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States