- 77% of veterans with cirrhosis received at least 1 opioid prescription in the past year, and 41% met the definition for chronic opioid use.
- Opioid prescribing among veterans with cirrhosis increased from 36% in 2005 to 47% from 2011 to 2014.
Why this matters
- Liver disease is a significant risk factor for opioid-related complications, including overdose.
- Retrospective study evaluated 127,239 veterans with cirrhosis identified from national Veterans Health Administration data (2005-2014).
- Funding: VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion.
- 77% of veterans with cirrhosis were prescribed opioid medications at least once over a median follow-up period of 7 years.
- 41% of veterans met the definition of long-term opioid use (≥90 calendar days) in at least 1 year.
- Veterans with cirrhosis receiving opioid medications increased from 36% in 2005 to 47% in 2011-2014 (Ptrend<.001>
- Proportion of veterans receiving long-term prescriptions increased from 47% in 2005 to 54% in 2014 (Ptrend<.001>
- 19% of recipients were prescribed high-dose opioids (≥100 morphine milligram equivalents/day).
- Reliance on administrative data.
- Indication for opioid use not identified.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD