Rates Going Up for 5 Common Musculoskeletal Diseases
The Journal of Rheumatology reports a concerning increase in hospitalizations for opioid use disorder (OUD) in patients with musculoskeletal conditions. Comparing data from 1998-2000 vs 2015-2016, OUD hospitalization rates for gout, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and low back pain have gone up, respectively, 36-fold, 14-fold, 12-fold, 9.5-fold, and 5.5 fold.
Although the study had limitations—potential misclassification of diagnostic codes; the actual costs of hospitalizations; biases due to study design—researchers feel their findings may lead to potential research to reduce OUD hospitalizations for this set of patients. The study concluded, “OUD-hospitalizations increased in all 5 musculoskeletal diseases studied, but the rate of increase differed. Awareness of these OUD-hospitalization trends in 5 musculoskeletal diseases among providers, policy-makers and patients is important. Development and implementation of interventions, policies and practices to potentially reduce OUD-associated impact in people with rheumatic diseases is needed.”
Access the journal article.
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the PAINWeek Newsletter
and get our latest articles and more direct to your inbox