Preoperative Opioids Used by 23.1 Percent of Surgical Patients

Odds of pre-op opioid use up with age 31 to 40 years, tobacco use, illicit drug use, depression.
Odds of pre-op opioid use up with age 31 to 40 years, tobacco use, illicit drug use, depression.

HealthDay News — Preoperative opioid use is reported in 23.1% of patients undergoing surgery, according to a study published online July 11 in JAMA Surgery.

Paul E. Hilliard, MD, from the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the prevalence of preoperative opioid use in a cross-sectional, observational study of patients undergoing surgery. Data were included for 34,186 patients. 

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The researchers found that preoperative opioid use was reported in 23.1% of patients. Hydrocodone bitartrate, tramadol hydrochloride, and oxycodone hydrochloride were the most common opioids used (59.4, 21.2, and 18.3%, respectively). Independent associations with preoperative opioid use were seen for ages 31 to 40 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.26), tobacco use (former use aOR, 1.32; current use aOR, 1.62), illicit drug use (aOR, 1.74), higher pain severity (aOR, 1.33), depression (aOR, 1.22), higher Fibromyalgia Survey scores (aOR, 1.06), lower life satisfaction (aOR, 0.95), and more medical comorbidities (American Society of Anesthesiology score aOR, 1.47; Charlson Comorbidity Index aOR, 1.29). Patients undergoing orthopedic and neurosurgical spinal procedures most commonly reported preoperative opioid use (65.1 and 55.1%, respectively), while those undergoing thoracic procedures least commonly reported use (15.7%).

"These data provide important insights into this complicated patient population that would appear to help guide future preoperative optimization and perioperative opioid-weaning interventions," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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