August 7, 2019

Patient factors tied to postop opioid consumption

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

In this study of opioid-naïve patients having major surgery, researchers found a number of patient characteristics associated with greater opioid use in the first month after surgery.

Of 1,181 patients analyzed, the following were significantly associated with increased postoperative opioid consumption:


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  • younger age
  • nonwhite race
  • lack of college degree
  • higher anxiety
  • greater sleep disturbance
  • heavy alcohol use
  • current tobacco use
  • larger initial opioid prescription size.

Future studies should look at the use of nonopioid drugs and behavioral therapies preoperatively in these higher-risk patients, the researchers say.

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