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Quick Hits: Big Rise in Hospitalizations for Kids with Opioid Side Effects & Persistent Pain Linked to Memory Decline in Seniors


By Alanna McCatty

September 21, 2017

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Big Rise in Hospitalizations for Kids With Opioid Side Effects Researchers have found that young children are experiencing the harmful side effects of opioid painkillers at an increased rate. The research team collected data on adolescent hospital stays and examined children from 1 month to 17 years old. The preliminary study showed that there was a 50% increase in opioid-related side effects among children who were hospitalized over the course of 9 years.

“Further studies on the safety and efficacy of opioid use in children and alternate pain medications with less toxicity and addiction potential are urgently needed,” study author Dr. Jessica Barreto told HealthDay. Posted September 18, 2017. Via U.S. News.

Persistent Pain in the Elderly Associated with Memory Decline and Dementia
Seniors who experienced moderate to severe pain showed a faster decline in memory and an increase in the development of dementia as they aged. A longitudinal study published in August in JAMA looked at data on 10,065 adults 62 and older in the Health and Retirement Study who had answered questions about pain 2 years apart. Persistent pain was linked to a 9.2% (95% CI, 2.8%-15.0%) more rapid memory decline compared to those without persistent pain. After 10 years, this accelerated memory decline implied a 15.9% higher relative risk of inability to manage medications and an 11.8% higher relative risk of inability to manage finances independently. The increased risk for dementia after 10 years was 2.2%. Posted August 2017. Via JAMA.


Last updated: September 21, 2017