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Cancer screening among women prescribed opioids

February 18, 2020

U.S. women who take prescription opioids are no less likely to receive key cancer screenings when compared to women who are not prescribed opioids. Researchers at the University of California, Davis analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of 53,982 women in the United States. Findings revealed that women who are prescribed opioids were more likely to receive breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings for the simple fact that they are frequent users of the health care system. They had a median number of doctor visits that was five times higher than their non-prescribed counterparts. When this factor was controlled for, analysis showed no association between prescription opioid use and cancer screening. This study is one of the first to examine access to key preventive health services for opioid versus non-opioid users. Authors suggest that "the key driver of whether women receive recommended cancer screening is simply how often they see the doctor."
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Cancer Screening Among Women Prescribed Opioids: A National Study
Alicia Agnoli, MD, MPH, MHS, et al
University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Sacramento, California
http://www.annfammed.org/content/18/1/59

American Academy of Family Physicians

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