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Chronic Use of Prescription Painkillers Continues Following Bariatric Surgery
Date:10/1/2013

ease the risk of ulcers, particularly after bariatric surgery," said Dr. Raebel. "Given the increasing chronic usage rate reported in this study, it's clear that the medical community needs to develop better pain management programs for patients who use opioids long-term following bariatric surgery."

More than 200,000 bariatric surgeries were performed in the U.S. in 2012 and prescription painkiller usage has exploded at the same time. According to the medical journal Pain, 4.3 million adults use opioid medications on a regular basis. The most commonly used prescription opioids are hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine. Long-term opioid use can lead to many health issues, the most serious being addiction and fatal overdoses.

Kaiser Permanente is committed to furthering understanding of chronic opioid use. Earlier in 2013, a Kaiser Permanente study found that regularly taking opioids increases a man's risk of erectile dysfunction.

Kaiser Permanente can conduct transformational health research like this in part because it has the largest private patient-centered electronic health record system in the world. The organization's electronic health record system, Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, securely connects 9.1 million patients to 17,000 physicians in 611 medical offices and 37 hospitals. It also connects Kaiser Permanente's research scientists to one of the most extensive collections of longitudinal medical data available, facilitating studies and important medical discoveries that shape the future of health care delivery for patients and the medical community.

Additional study authors include: Sophia R. Newcomer, MPH, Liza M. Reifler, MPH, and

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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