JAMA Network Open
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 11 A.M. (ET), FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2018
Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Julie R. Gaither, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., email firstname.lastname@example.org or Ziba Kashef at Ziba.email@example.com. The full study is available on the For The Media website.
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About JAMA Network Open: JAMA Network Open is the new online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. Every Friday, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.
Bottom Line: Nearly 9,000 children and adolescents died from opioid poisonings with prescription and illicit drugs between 1999 and 2016 based on an analysis of national data. The death rate almost tripled over that time to nearly 1 per 100,000 based on the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prescription opioids were implicated in 73 percent of the deaths (6,561) and most of the deaths were unintentional (nearly 81 percent). The majority of deaths were among non-Hispanic white males but over time non-Hispanic black children accounted for a larger proportion of the deaths. The highest annual death rates during the 18 years examined in the study were among teens 15 to 19, with heroin implicated in nearly 1,900 deaths. The study relied on data from death certificates so the potential for misclassification of cause and manner of death exists. Researchers urge lawmakers, public health officials, clinicians and parents to implement protective measures to address the growing public health problem.
Authors: Julie R. Gaither, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, and coauthors
To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.
Editor’s Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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