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Deaths for opioids in children and adolescents – Medical news


Almost 9,000 children and adolescents died of opioid poisoning with prescription medications and illicit drugs between 1999 and 2016

key points

  • ask: How mortality rates have changed in the U.S. UU. for poisoning for pediatric opiate in the last 2 decades?
  • findings: In this cross-sectional study, 8986 children and adolescents died between 1999 and 2016 due to illicit opioid poisoning and by prescription. During this time, the mortality rate increased by 268.2%.
  • meaning: Specific pediatric and family-focused interventions are needed to treat opioid pediatric poisonings, a growing public health problem in the United States.


In 2015, there were 33,000 deaths in the United States attributed to opioid intoxications; In 2016, the deaths exceeded 43,000, more than in any other recorded year.

Americans continue to die in unprecedented amounts due to prescribed opioids and, increasingly, heroin and fentanyl manufactured illegally, despite aggressive public health measures to contain the crisis, the one who speaks of the complexity and evolutionary nature of this epidemic.

What began more than 2 decades ago as a public health problem, mainly among young white and middle-aged men, is now an epidemic of prescription and abuse of illicit opioids that is affecting all segments of the society of the EE. US, Including the population pediatrician.

Millions of children and adolescents are now routinely exposed to their homes, schools and communities to these powerful and addictive drugs

In the United States, almost 5,000 children under 6 years old They are evaluated annually in the emergency departments for exposure to opioids.

In addition, hospitalizations for poisoning by opioids increased almost 2 times in all pediatric groups between 1997 and 2012.

Rates increased more than doubled among children between 1 and 4 years old, and in adolescents aged 15-19, the poisonings attributed to the suicidal and unintentional intention increased 2 and 3 times, respectively.

It is not clear, however, how many children die every year in the United States for poisoning with opioids and how mortality rates have changed over time since the beginning of the epidemic in the late 1990's.

he goal This study, therefore, was to examine in detail the national trends in pediatric deaths for poisoning with opioids in relation to age, race / ethnicity, form of death (that is, intent), opioid involved and environment (for example, medical versus residential).



We still do not know how many children and adolescents die each year for poisoning with opioids and how mortality rates have changed over time.


almost 9,000 children and adolescents They died due to opioid poisoning with prescription medications and illicit drugs between 1999 and 2016, according to an analysis of national data. The mortality rate almost tripled during that time to almost 1 per 100,000 according to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Number of deaths for pediatric opioids and mortality rates per year Number of deaths (A) and mortality rates (B) for children and adolescents aged 0-19. Error bars indicate 95% CI.

the Receptive opioids They were involved in 73 percent of the deaths (6,561) and most of the deaths were involuntary (almost 81 percent).

Most of the deaths occurred among non-Hispanic white men, but over time non-Hispanic black children represented a greater proportion of deaths.

The highest rates of annual mortality during the 18 years examined in the study were among teenagers of 15 to 19 years old, With the heroin involved in nearly 1,900 deaths.

The study was based on data of death certificates, so there is the possibility of a wrong classification of the cause and the way of death.

The researchers urge legislators, public health officials, clinicians and parents to implement protective measures to address the growing public health problem.

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