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Opioids' Impact on Seniors

Opioids' Impact on Seniors

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New AHRQ data provide important insights into opioid use among seniors, including the average annual number of seniors who filled opioid prescriptions in 2015 and 2016 and the increase in opioid-related hospitalizations among seniors between 2010 and 2015.

Average Annual Opioid Prescription Use Among Seniors, 2015-2016
  • Filled at least 1 opioid prescription: 10 million (19%)
  • Filled 4 or more opioid prescriptions: 4 million (7%)
Source: MEPS, Any Use and Frequent Use of Opioids among Elderly Adults in 2015-2016, by Socioeconomic Characteristics, September 2018

Increase in Opioid-Related Hospitalizations Among Seniors, 2010-2015

34% increase in the rate of opioid-related hospitalizations
  • 2010: 199 Hospitalizations Per 100,000
  • 2015: 268 Hospitalizations Per 100,000
Source: HCUP Statistical Brief #244: "Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays and Emergency Department Visits Among Patients Aged 65 Years and Older, 2010 and 2015, September 2018".

Internet Citation: Opioids' Impact on Seniors. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). February 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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Last modified 2/22/19