Poverty, Race Play Major Roles in Opioid Prescribing

“Black, Hispanic and poor patients in moderate to severe pain are less likely to receive opioid pain medications in emergency rooms across the U.S., according to a University of Rochester Medical Center study reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The researchers found that African Americans and Hispanics were less likely to get opioids for equivalent levels of pain. People who resided in poorer neighborhoods were also less likely to be treated with opioids than those from more affluent ones.

Patients in the highest income neighborhoods received prescriptions 49% of the time for moderate to severe pain, compared to 39% of the patients in lower income areas. Discrepancies also existed among various levels of poverty, with the poorest least likely to get opioids for pain.

 Regional differences also were observed, with opioids prescribed more often in emergency rooms in the South and West, compared to the Northeast.”



Source: AmericanNewsReport.com – July 1, 2013