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Am J Ind Med. 2013 Mar;56(3):308-16. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22138. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

Comparison of opioid-related deaths by work-related injury.

Author information

1
Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational, Environmental Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah. melissa.cheng@hsc.utah.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To infer whether work-related injuries may impact opioid-related deaths.

METHODS:

Descriptive comparisons were done using data from the Utah Department of Health, the Office of Medical Examiners, and the Labor Commission on all Utah residents who died from opioid-related deaths from 2008 to 2009.

RESULTS:

The majority of decedents (145 of 254, 57%) had at least one prior work-related injury. Demographics were similar regardless of work injury status. However, lack of high school diploma (18% vs. 7%, P < 0.001), prevalence of mental illness (50% vs. 15%, P < 0.001), tobacco (61% vs. 12%, P < 0.001), alcohol (87% vs. 28%, P < 0.001), and illicit drug (50% vs. 4%, P < 0.001) use were all substantially higher than the background population.

CONCLUSION:

A detailed history and screening for mental illness and substance abuse, including tobacco use, among injured workers may be helpful in avoiding potential opioid-related deaths.

PMID:
23143851
DOI:
10.1002/ajim.22138
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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