For opioid-related hospitalizations, men and women are equal


Equality is not always a good thing, particularly with opioids.

In 2005, the rate of opioid-related inpatient hospital stays was 145.6 per 100,000 population for males of all ages and 127.8 for females of all ages. By 2014, however, equality had arrived: Females had a rate of 224.1 per 100,000, compared with 225 for males, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Those increases in hospital admissions work out to 75% for females and 55% for males.

Opioid-related inpatient stays and ED visits by patient sex
Meanwhile, there was more good news/bad news from the emergency department: Females did not achieve equality in opioid-related ED visits because their rate was only up by 95% – going from 78.6 per 100,000 population in 2005 to 153.2 in 2014, compared with a jump from 99.9 per 100,000 to 202.8 (103%) for males, the AHRQ report said.

The states tell a similarly unequal story for opioid-related ED visits. In 2014, males had the higher rate in 23 states, and females had the higher rate in 7 states. (Washington, D.C., and 20 states do not participate in the State Emergency Department Databases and were not included in this analysis.)

Among the 30 participating states, Massachusetts had the highest visit rates for both males (598.8) and females (310.4), and Iowa had the lowest at 37 for males and 53.1 for females, AHRQ said.

The roles were reversed for opioid-related hospital admissions in the states in 2014: Females had the higher rate in 33 of the states participating in the State Inpatient Databases, compared with 11 states and the District of Columbia for males.

West Virginia had the highest rate for females at 371.2, and Washington, D.C., had the highest rate for males at 472. The lowest rates for both females (82.3) and males (63) were found in Iowa, according to the report.

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