QuickStats: Percentage of Emergency Department Visits for Pain* at Which Opioids† Were Given or Prescribed, by Patient Age and Year — National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, United States, 2010–2020
Weekly / December 30, 2022 / 71(5152);1634
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Abbreviation: ED = emergency department.
* Based on a sample of visits to EDs in noninstitutional general and short-stay hospitals, exclusive of federal, military, and Veterans Administration hospitals, located in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Pain-related visits were defined using up to three reasons for visit coded according to the National Center for Health Statistics Reason for Visit Classification (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_02/sr02_078.pdf) and grouped using an algorithm (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1149438).
† Visits with at least one opioid given in the ED or prescribed at discharge. Opioids were defined using the Cerner Multum (https://www.cerner.com/solutions/drug-database) third-level therapeutic category codes for narcotic analgesics (code 60) and narcotic-analgesic combinations (code 191). Visits with only buprenorphine or buprenorphine-naloxone given or prescribed were not included.
During 2010–2020, the percentages of ED visits for pain in which an opioid was given or prescribed decreased for all age groups. During this period, visits were lowest for persons aged <18 years, decreasing from 14.1% in 2010 to 6.1% in 2020. Among the adult age groups, adults aged 18–44 years experienced the greatest decrease during the period, declining from 49.1% to 21.3%. At the beginning of the period, percentages were lower for adults aged ≥65 years compared with those aged 18–44 years, but in 2016 that pattern reversed.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics. National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 2010–2020. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ahcd/index.htm
Reported by: Susan M. Schappert, MA, firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-458-4480; Loredana Santo, MD.
For more information on this topic, CDC recommends the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html
Suggested citation for this article: QuickStats: Percentage of Emergency Department Visits for Pain at Which Opioids Were Given or Prescribed, by Patient Age and Year — National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, United States, 2010–2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1634. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm715152a4.
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