In Dialysis Patients, Opioids Linked to Higher Mortality, Hospitalization, Dialysis Discontinuation Risks

December 9, 2016 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​Dialysis patients taking prescription opioids have higher risks of mortality, hospitalization, and discontinuation of dialysis over two years than dialysis patients not taking prescription opioids, reports a November 18, 2016, MedPage Today article. As described in a poster presentation at the American Society of Nephrology's Kidney Week meeting, held November 15-20, 2016, researchers studied data on opioid prescriptions represented in the U.S. Renal Data System for the years 2006 to 2010. Next, they examined opioid prescriptions among patients in the 2010 cohort who underwent dialysis for at least one year, as well as potential links with mortality, hospitalization, and dialysis discontinuation in the years 2011 and 2012. The investigators controlled for patient demographics, comorbidities, and place of residence. More than 60% of patients filled a prescription for an opioid between 2006 and 2010; approximately 20% had prescriptions for three months' worth of opioids per year.

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