Opioid Use After Hospital Care due to Hip Fracture Among Community-Dwelling Persons With and Without Alzheimer's Disease
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CitationLintula, E. Tiihonen, M. Taipale, H. Tolppanen, AM. Tanskanen, A. Tiihonen, J. Hartikainen, S. Hamina, A. (2019). Opioid Use After Hospital Care due to Hip Fracture Among Community-Dwelling Persons With and Without Alzheimer's Disease. Drugs and aging, [First Online 27 December 2019], 10.1007/s40266-019-00734-0.
Hip fractures are common among persons with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but problems in pain assessment may lead to insufficient analgesia after hospitalization.
We investigated the prevalence of opioid use in the 6 months after discharge from hospital care due to hip fracture among community-dwellers with and without AD.
Setting and method
The Medication use and Alzheimer’s disease (MEDALZ) cohort was used for this study, consisting of all community-dwelling persons newly diagnosed with AD during 2005–2011 in Finland and their comparison persons without AD matched on age, sex, and region of residence at the time of AD diagnosis. Data were collected from nationwide healthcare registers.
Main outcome measures
We investigated opioid use versus non-use in persons with and without AD in the 6 months after discharge from hospital care due to hip fracture.
Altogether 2342 persons with AD and 1615 persons without AD, discharged to community settings within ≤ 120 days after a hip fracture, were included. A higher percentage of persons with AD used opioids compared to those without AD, 39.5% [95% confidence interval (CI) 37.5–41.5] versus 31.2% (95% CI 28.9–33.5). Persons with AD used more frequently strong opioids during the first 3 months and buprenorphine during the 6-month period, and used weak opioids less frequently after the first month after discharge compared to those without AD.
Frequent opioid use after hospital care due to hip fracture may indicate increased attention to pain among persons with AD. Nevertheless, the benefits and harms of opioid use should be evaluated regularly in community-dwelling older persons.