Rate of pregnant women addicted to opioids skyrocketed in 15 years, CDC says
As the opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc across the country, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sheds light on the devastating consequences opioid addiction can have on pregnant women. The analysis, published Thursday in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that the number of women with opioid use disorder (OUD) at labor and delivery more than quadrupled from 1999 to 2014.
Opioid addiction can lead to a number of health problems that affect a person's physical well-being, mental health, and social relationships. According to the CDC, opioids, including, , and , killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, more than any year on record.
Opioid addiction during pregnancy during pregnancy has been associated with a range of negative health outcomes for both mothers and their babies, including maternal death, preterm birth,, and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
"These findings illustrate the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic on families across the U.S., including on the very youngest," CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D., said in a statement. "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."
For the study, researchers analyzed a national database that included information on women in 28 states.
The researchers found that the rate of opioid use disorder increased from 1.5 per 1,000 delivery hospitalizations in 1999 to 6.5 in 2014. On average, the national prevalence rate grew by 0.39 cases per 1,000 each year of the study period.
The authors also observed some geographical differences. The average annual rate increases were lowest in California and Hawaii and were highest in Maine, New Mexico, Vermont, and West Virginia.
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