Opium use may double death risk

   Apr 18, 2:38 pm

London, April 18 (ANI): Long term opium use, even in relatively low doses, may almost double the risk of death from many causes, particularly circulatory diseases, respiratory conditions and cancer, a new study has suggested.

The findings remind us not only that opium is harmful, but raise questions about the risks of long term prescription opioids for treatment of chronic pain.

The research was carried out in northern Iran, where opium consumption is exceptionally common, and is the first study to measure the risks of death in opium users compared with non-users.

Around 20 million people worldwide use opium or its derivatives. Studies suggest a possible role of opium in throat cancer, bladder cancer, coronary heart disease and a few other conditions, but little is known about its effect on overall mortality, particularly for low-dose opium used over a long period.

So an international research team set out to investigate the association between opium use and subsequent risk of death.

They studied opium use among 50,045 men and women aged 40 to 75 years living in Golestan Province in northern Iran for an average of five years.

A total of 8,487 participants reported opium use, with an average duration of 12.7 years and 2,145 deaths were reported during the study period.

After adjusting for several factors including poverty and cigarette smoking, opium use was associated with an 86 percent increased risk of deaths from several major causes including circulatory diseases, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), tuberculosis and cancer.

Even after excluding those who self-prescribed opium after the onset of a chronic illness, the associations remained strong and a dose-response relationship was seen.

Increased mortality was seen for different types of opium. Both opium ingestion and opium smoking were associated with a higher risk of death.

Assuming this represents a direct (causal) association, the authors estimated that 15 percent of all deaths in this population are attributable to opium.

They call for more studies on opium use and mortality and of patients taking long term opioid analgesics for treatment of pain to help shed further light on this issue.

The result has been published on bmj.com. (ANI)

Dine with wine for better cholesterol management Oct 13, 2:06 pm
Washington D.C., Oct. 13 (ANI): A new study has revealed consuming a glass of red wine every day can help patients with controlled type 2 diabetes improve heart health and manage cholesterol.
Full Story
Being a summer baby has its benefits Oct 13, 1:14 pm
Washington D.C., Oct. 13 (ANI): A new study has revealed that girls born in summer are more likely to have higher birth weight and late puberty.
Full Story
Pregnant women with high blood sugar likelier to have infant with heart disease Oct 13, 12:06 pm
Washington D.C., Oct. 13 (ANI): A new study has revealed that pregnant women with elevated blood sugar levels are more likely to have babies with congenital cardiovascular defects, even if their blood sugar is below the cut off for diabetes.
Full Story
ICMR, PHFI and University of Washington launch collaborative health initiative Oct 12, 6:09 pm
New Delhi, Oct.12 (ANI-NewsVoir): The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington under the aegis of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, have launched a collaborative initiative on state-level disease burden estimation in India.
Full Story