Navigation Links
Blacks, Hispanics less likely to get strong pain drugs in emergency rooms
Date:1/1/2008

Despite increases in the overall use of opioid drugs to relieve severe pain, black and Hispanic patients remain significantly less likely than whites to receive these pain-relievers in emergency rooms, according to a new national study.

The study examined treatments for more than 150,000 pain-related visits to U.S. hospitals between 1993 and 2005. It found that 31 percent of whites received opioid drugs compared with only 23 percent of blacks and 24 percent of Hispanics. About 28 percent of Asians received the drugs.

In contrast, non-opioid pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen were prescribed much more often to non-whites (36 percent) than to whites (26 percent).

Studies in the 1990s showed a disturbing racial or ethnic disparity in the use of these potent pain relievers, but we had hoped that the recent national efforts at improving pain management in emergency departments would shrink this disparity, said Mark Pletcher, MD, a UCSF assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics and lead author of the study. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

The study results are published in the January 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Opioids are narcotic drugs used to treat patients with moderate to severe pain. Their use in emergency rooms increased overall from 23 to 37 percent between 1993 and 2005. National quality improvement guidelines on pain control in 2001 called for increased monitoring of pain status and stressed the need for adequate pain control. Since then, the hospital use of opioids has further increased. The new study is the first to assess national opioid prescribing patterns in the emergency room setting since implementation of the guidelines.

Among the findings:

  • Blacks were prescribed opioids at lower rates than other groups for almost every type of pain-related emergency department visit, including back pain, headache, and abdominal pain.
  • Differences in prescribing were greatest for people with the worst pain. About 52 percent of whites in severe pain received opioids, compared with 42 percent of Hispanics and 39 percent of blacks.
  • Prescribing rates were particularly low for:
    • Black and Hispanic children
    • Blacks in county and state hospitals
    • Asians and other insured by Medicare
    • All non-white patients in the Northeast

There is no evidence that non-whites have less severe or different types of pain when they arrive in the emergency department, Pletcher said. We think our data indicate that opioids are being underprescribed to minority emergency department patients, especially black and Hispanic patients.

The study was not designed to determine the causes of these ethnic disparities in care, and they are likely to complex, Pletcher said. The authors call for ongoing education of physicians and nursing staff on treatment of pain, and promotion of cultural awareness. They also call for more education of patients to advocate for their own pain control.

The paper suggests that changes in systems for pain management in the emergency department may be required, such as use of protocols allowing nurses to initiate pain control measures.

The study draws on data compiled by the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey conducted by the Census Bureau. The researchers analyzed nearly 375,000 emergency room visits over 13 years. About 42 percent of these visits were for pain.


'/>"/>
Contact: Wallace Ravven
wravven@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Older Blacks, Latinos Struggle With Diabetes Control
2. Blacks, Hispanics Live Longer With Alzheimers
3. Donate Life America Dispels Myths About Organ & Tissue Donation Among Hispanics During National Hispanic Heritage Month
4. Mega Events in September Allow Heart Health Campaign to Reach Tens of Thousands of Hispanics During Cholesterol Awareness Month
5. U.S. Health Initiative Targets Aging Hispanics
6. Uncontrolled Blood Pressure Highest Among Hispanics, Prompting New Hypertension Project in San Antonio
7. Mega Events in September, Including Chicago Event This Sat./Sun., Allow Heart Health Campaign to Reach Tens of Thousands of Hispanics During Cholesterol Awareness Month
8. Hispanics hypertension better controlled with equal access to care
9. Many U.S. Hispanics Struggle With Health Care System
10. Abbott Named One of the Best Companies for Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine
11. Latinos/Hispanics Across the Nation Recognize National Latino AIDS Awareness Day and Call to Action Leaders in Promoting HIV Testing, Prevention and Access to Care
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... to meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s ... experts and tested to meet the highest standard. , These products are ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the ... Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium ... a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Information about the technology: ... develop to enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy in children. ... pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as a dose ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a ... of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners ... October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the ... – Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. ... , Teams will work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , Oct. 12, 2017 West ... in innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today announced ... the market opens on Thursday, October 26, 2017, and ... results and business expectations at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. ... or 253-336-8738 (International). The conference ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- Caris Life Sciences ® , a leading innovator in ... medicine, today announced that St. Jude Medical Center,s Crosson ... as its 17 th member. Through participation with ... Institute will help develop standards of care and best ... cancer treatment more precise and effective. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today ... Las Piedras, Puerto Rico , where ... Following a comprehensive ... minor structural damage, temporary loss of power and minimal ... completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and the company expects ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: