Pregnancy: 1 in 3 women reported opioid use in past year

  • Pain Manag Nurs

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Nearly one-third of pregnant women and nearly 40% of women of childbearing age reported using opioids in the past year.
  • White women were more likely to report past-year opioid use.

Why this matters

  • The findings suggest a need for universal screening for opioid use and misuse among women of childbearing age.

Study design

  • Study of 46,229 women (age, 18-44 years) during 2015-2016.
  • Funding: Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation.

Key results

  • 3.91% (95% CI, 3.62%-4.22%) of women were pregnant.
  • 38.6% (95% CI, 37.92%-39.28%) of all women reported past-year opioid use. 
  • 31.89% of pregnant and 38.87% of nonpregnant women reported past-year opioid use (P<.0001>
  • Past-year opioid use was:
    • higher in whites (41.54%; 95% CI, 40.42%-42.66%) and blacks (41.40%; 95% CI, 39.51%-43.29%).
    • lower in other (28.86%; 95% CI, 26.43%-31.28%) and Latino (33.53%; 95% CI, 32.03%-35.02%) groups.
  • Overall 1.62% of women reported opioid misuse in the last 30 days, with no statistical difference based on pregnancy status.
  • Compared with white women, opioid misuse was significantly less in:
    • black women (aOR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.25-0.62),
    • Latinos (aOR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.31-0.63), and
    • other race/ethnicity groups (aOR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.24-0.58).

  Limitations

  • Survey-based study.
  • Small number of pregnant women.

Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD