Print Edition - 2019-06-20  |  Health and Living

Obesity pain contributes to opioid use

  • DRUG ABUSE

Jun 20, 2019-

Long-term use of prescription opioids for chronic pain is more common among people who are overweight or obese, a new study finds. As a group, these individuals are more likely to use prescription opioids for pain in the back, joints, muscles and nerves, researchers write in the journal Pain.

Andrew Stokes of the Boston University School of Public Health and colleagues analysed data for more than 25,000 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, ages 35 to 79, to understand the relationship between obesity and prescription opioid use.

Overall, in survey results from 2013-2014 and 2015-2016, seven percent of participants reported prescription opioid use. Compared to people with a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range, people with BMI in the overweight range had 11 percent higher odds of chronic prescription opioid use.

People in higher BMI categories were also more likely to use stronger opioids that were similar to morphine. Obesity is one of the five major contributors to chronic pain, according to the Institute of Medicine. It raises risks for arthritis, back pain, diabetes-associated nerve pain, fibromyalgia, and migraine. —© 2019 Reuters

Published: 20-06-2019 10:14

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