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Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2018 May 7;13(5):746-753. doi: 10.2215/CJN.09910917. Epub 2018 Apr 19.

Opioid Analgesics and Adverse Outcomes among Hemodialysis Patients.

Author information

1
Departments of Medicine and julie.ishida@ucsf.edu.
2
Division of Nephrology, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California; and.
3
Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, California.
4
Division of Geriatrics, University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California.
5
Departments of Medicine and.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Patients on hemodialysis frequently experience pain and may be particularly vulnerable to opioid-related complications. However, data evaluating the risks of opioid use in patients on hemodialysis are limited.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS:

Using the US Renal Data System, we conducted a cohort study evaluating the association between opioid use (modeled as a time-varying exposure and expressed in standardized oral morphine equivalents) and time to first emergency room visit or hospitalization for altered mental status, fall, and fracture among 140,899 Medicare-covered adults receiving hemodialysis in 2011. We evaluated risk according to average daily total opioid dose (>60 mg, ≤60 mg, and per 60-mg dose increment) and specific agents (per 60-mg dose increment).

RESULTS:

The median age was 61 years old, 52% were men, and 50% were white. Sixty-four percent received opioids, and 17% had an episode of altered mental status (15,658 events), fall (7646 events), or fracture (4151 events) in 2011. Opioid use was associated with risk for all outcomes in a dose-dependent manner: altered mental status (lower dose: hazard ratio, 1.28; 95% confidence interval, 1.23 to 1.34; higher dose: hazard ratio, 1.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.56 to 1.78; hazard ratio, 1.29 per 60 mg; 95% confidence interval, 1.26 to 1.33), fall (lower dose: hazard ratio, 1.28; 95% confidence interval, 1.21 to 1.36; higher dose: hazard ratio, 1.45; 95% confidence interval, 1.31 to 1.61; hazard ratio, 1.04 per 60 mg; 95% confidence interval, 1.03 to 1.05), and fracture (lower dose: hazard ratio, 1.44; 95% confidence interval, 1.33 to 1.56; higher dose: hazard ratio, 1.65; 95% confidence interval, 1.44 to 1.89; hazard ratio, 1.04 per 60 mg; 95% confidence interval, 1.04 to 1.05). All agents were associated with a significantly higher hazard of altered mental status, and several agents were associated with a significantly higher hazard of fall and fracture.

CONCLUSIONS:

Opioids were associated with adverse outcomes in patients on hemodialysis, and this risk was present even at lower dosing and for agents that guidelines have recommended for use.

KEYWORDS:

Analgesics, Opioid; Cohort Studies; Emergency Service, Hospital; Humans; Medicare; Middle Aged; Morphine; Opioid-Related Disorders; Pain; United States; United States Renal Data System; clinical epidemiology; hemodialysis; hospitalization; opioid; renal dialysis

PMID:
29674340
PMCID:
PMC5969477
[Available on 2019-05-07]
DOI:
10.2215/CJN.09910917

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