Risk factors for opioid abuse/dependence in hospitalized cancer patients in the United States

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

J Clin Oncol


Background: Opioid medications are the mainstay for treating cancer pain. Goal of this study was to identify risk factors for opioid abuse/dependence in patients hospitalized with cancer, explore whether risk of opioid abuse/dependence varies by cancer type and to assess whether opioid abuse/dependence in cancer patients effects the outcomes of hospitalization.Methods: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample for the years of 2011 -2015 was queried for the analysis. We used ICD-9-CM codes of solid tumors as a primary diagnosis for hospitalization, and opioid abuse/dependence as a secondary diagnosis of the hospitalization. We performed univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses to examine the association between risk factors and opioid abuse/dependence. Data were analyzed using SAS v9.4 (SAS Institute, Cary, NC). Results: Total of 524,624 patients were included in our cohort. Rate of opioid abuse/dependence was highest in patients with liver cancer (1.77%). Opioid abuse/dependence was less associated with age (>65 years old: OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.21-0.39). Patients with Medicaid insurance associated with increased risk of opioid abuse/dependence comparing to other insurances (OR 5.29, 95% CI 4.78-5.86). Strongest association with opioid abuse/dependence were in patients with liver cancer (OR 6.07, 95% CI 5.11-7.20) followed by head and neck cancer (OR 3.20, 95% CI 2.67-3.84). Substance abuse (OR 9.9, 95% CI 9.04-10.84), mental disease (OR-2.87, 95% CI 2.64-3.13) and nutrition deficiency (OR-2.09, 95% CI 1.90-2.31) were highly associated with opioid abuse dependence. Inhospital mortality rate, total cost of hospitalization, and length of stay were significantly higher in patients with opioid abuse/dependence (Table).Conclusions: We identified risk factors for opioid abuse/dependence in hospitalized patients with cancer and demonstrated that risk of opioid abuse varies by cancer type, and opioid abuse/dependence affects the outcomes of hospitalization. Findings of our study can be used for development of the screening tools with higher sensitivity and specificity for predicting the risk of opioid abuse/dependence in cancer patients. Outcomes of hospitalization. (Table Presented) .





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