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CDC: Number of women with opioid use disorder quadruples in 15 years

By Allen Cone
The cases of pregnant women with opioid overuse quadrupled in 15 years, according to an analysis of hospital deliveries by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo by qimono/pixabay
The cases of pregnant women with opioid overuse quadrupled in 15 years, according to an analysis of hospital deliveries by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo by qimono/pixabay

Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Pregnant women with opioid overuse have quadrupled over 15 years, according to an analysis of hospital deliveries by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday.

The findings revealed significant increases in 28 states with available data for pregnant women with a pattern of opioid use, the agency reports.

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The CDC says opioid overuse during pregnancy has been linked to negative health outcomes for mothers and their babies, including maternal death, preterm birth, stillbirth and neonatal abstinence syndrome.

"These findings illustrate the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic on families across the U.S., including on the very youngest," Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the CDC director, said in a press release. "Untreated opioid use disorder during pregnancy can lead to heartbreaking results. Each case represents a mother, a child, and a family in need of continued treatment and support."

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The national prevalence rate of OUD increased 333 percent -- from 1.5 per 1,000 delivery hospitalizations in 1999 to 6.5 in 2014, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. It grew by 0.39 cases per 1,000 each year.

OUD rates ranged from the lowest in District of Columbia at 0.7 cases per 1,000 hospital births and Nebraska at 1.2 to the highest in West Virginia at 32.1 and Vermont at 48.6. State and D.C. data available each year ranged from 14 states in 1999 to 28 in 2011.

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The largest annual average increase was 5.37 in Vermont followed by Maine at 4.3, West Virginia at 2.83, New Mexico at 2.47 and Kentucky at 1.33. All other states were less than 1 percent.

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"Even in states with the smallest annual increases, more and more women are presenting with opioid use disorder at labor and delivery," said Dr. Wanda Barfield, a rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service. "These state-level data can provide a solid foundation for developing and tailoring prevention and treatment efforts."

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