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An estimated 20% of deaths among U.S. adults aged 25 to 34 years are related to opioid use, according to an analysis in JAMA Network Open.
Researchers examined trends in opioid-related deaths using death certificates from 2001 to 2016. Among their findings:
- During the 15 years, the rate of opioid-related deaths quadrupled, from 33 to 131 deaths per million population.
- The proportion of deaths linked to opioids rose from 1 in 255 to 1 in 65.
- For 25-to-34-year-olds, the proportion of opioid-related deaths increased from 4% to 20%, while for 15-to-24-year-olds, it rose from 3% to 12%.
- Men aged 25 to 34 years had 18 years of life lost per 1000 population due to opioids.
- Roughly 18% of all opioid-related deaths in the U.S. occurred among those aged 55 and up.
- The years of life lost due to opioids now exceed those due to hypertension, HIV/AIDS, and pneumonia.