Women receive higher rates of prescription opioids, shows study
New Rochelle, NY -- Women are significantly more likely to receive prescriptions of opioid analgesics.ln a nationally representative sample, women received higher rates of prescription opioids, consistent with prior surveillance data.
The study has been published in Journal of Women's Health.
In the United States, increasing rates of opioid-related morbidity and mortality1,2 have heightened concerns related to prescription opioid safety
Surveillance data suggest that women are prescribed more opioid analgesics than men. It remains unclear whether these sex-related differences solely reflect the associations with other characteristics more prevalent among women (e.g., adverse socioeconomic and health status-related factors, and more contact with the health system).
Researchers from University of California Davis School of Medicine identified three main factors driving this discrepancy. These included lower, more adverse socio-economic status among women and more adverse health status-related factors. Another factor was higher rates of overall healthcare utilization.
"Our analysis found no evidence that the treatment of pain was driving women's higher rates of prescription opioids," said Alicia Agnoli, MD and coauthors.
"Future research and prevention efforts should target these factors to help combat the growing opioid epidemic," says Journal of Women's Health Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA.