Friday, January 18, 2019

Health-care providers in rural counties are more likely to prescribe opioids; CDC sees a link to higher opioid deaths

Primary health-care providers in rural counties are much more likely to prescribe opioids than their suburban and urban counterparts, and that correlates to a higher incidence of opioid-related deaths, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers analyzed data from January 2014 to March 2017, dividing data into six categories of population density. All six population level areas saw a substantial decline in opioid prescriptions over the studied time period, but the more rural a county was, the higher its opioid prescription rate across the board. Fourteen of the 15 counties with the highest opioid prescription rates were rural, the report says. Read the report here.

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