Social Determinants of Health and County Population Rates of Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays
Increased use of prescription and nonprescription opioids in the past 20 years has led to substantial increases in opioid-related deaths and hospitalizations.
Social Determinants of Health and County Population Rates of Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays, a statistical brief from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project describe how counties that have high versus low population rates of opioid-related hospital use differ with regard to social determinants of heath (SDOH).
- Among 2,214 counties (70.5 percent of all U.S. counties in 2016), 8.7 percent had population rates of opioid-related inpatient stays and emergency department (ED) visits that were high and 48.4 percent had rates that were low relative to the national average.
- Counties with high population rates of opioid-related inpatient stays and ED visits had the following social determinants of heath characteristics:
- Social, educational, and economic: lower population percentage of Hispanics/Latinos, higher percentage of economically disadvantaged residents, lower percentage of the population with religious congregation affiliation, and higher crime rates.
- Physical infrastructure: more likely to be urban, more densely populated, and more racially segregated.
- Healthcare: higher population rate of healthcare providers, greater pharmacy density, higher population percentage of Medicaid enrollment, more likely to have opioid-related State policies (e.g., permitting naloxone prescriptions for third parties), higher opioid prescribing rates, and higher State opioid mortality rates.
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