Opioid-related deaths affect more young people

For the new study, the researchers used mortality data from the Sheriff’s Office of Ontario, the most populous province in Canada. Opioid-related death is defined as death where acute poisoning of an opioid-related drug is considered the direct cause of death.

Between 2003 and 2020, there were 11,633 opioid-related deaths among 15- to 69-year-olds. Overall, 72% of opioid-related deaths during the 18 years of the study were men, and accidental deaths accounted for 82% of deaths.

Opioid-related deaths increased more than fivefold during this period. Essentially, rates increased significantly for both sexes and for all ages over time, with the age distribution trending downward in both sexes. Using a novel Bayesian modeling approach, the authors estimated that in 2003, the maximum male mortality rate, 5.5 deaths per 100,000 person-years (95% CI 4.0- 7.6), was seen at age 44, while in 2020, the maximum of 67.2 deaths per 100,000 person-years (95% CI 55.3-81.5) was in age 35. For women, the highest mortality rates also shift to younger ages; In 2003, a peak of 2.2 deaths per 100,000-year-olds (95% CI 1.5-3.2) was at age 51, while in 2020, a peak of 16.8 (95% CI 12.8) -22.0) is at the age of 37.

Based on observational data and outcome models, the researchers hypothesize that opioid-related mortality in the young population will continue to increase. They conclude that targeted strategies to address opioid-related mortality in individuals between the ages of 25 and 44 are of greater importance than previously believed.

The authors add: “Opioid-related mortality rates have been increasing in Ontario, Canada since 2003, and after a brief decline in part of 2019, the upward trend continued into the COVID era. -19 2020 from the highest in the 45- to 54-year-old group, to the highest in the 25- to 44-year-old group.”

Source: Eurekalert

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