Women prescribed opioids more often than men, study finds

Women prescribed opioids more often than men, study finds

Women are prescribed opioids at a higher rate than men, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Women’s Health.

Researchers at the University of California Davis School of Medicine examined national data. They found that not only are women prescribed opioids more than men, but they also receive more prescriptions per person.

Researchers hypothesized that this difference was caused by health status-related factors, more women utilizing health care and sociodemographic characteristics. They took into consideration
age, race/ethnicity, U.S. census region, education level, household income level, and health insurance status.

When researchers ran their models, they discovered 9,387 women, 16.2 percent of those sampled, and 5,679 men, 11.7 percent, were prescribed opioids. Patients prescribed opioids were more likely to have poor health status, higher rates of smoking and cancer, live in the Midwest or South, have public insurance, receive lower income, be older, and white.

There was no connection between the treatment of pain driving women’s higher rates of prescription opioids, Dr. Alicia Agnoli, the study’s co-author, said.

“Future research and prevention efforts should target these factors to help combat the growing opioid epidemic,” Dr. Susan G. Kornstein, Journal of Women’s Health Editor-in-Chief and Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health executive director, said.