We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients (age 18-80) from inpatient, emergency room and ambulatory surgery settings at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, NY from 2013 through 2017. ICD coding for opioid abuse/dependence, chronic pain conditions (chronic pain syndrome, osteoarthritis, joint disorder, fibromyalgia), asthma, and allergic were obtained. We determined the percent of these patients having asthma/allergic rhinitis as well as chronic opioid use, which was determined by the presence of opioid prescription.
In patients with opioid abuse/dependence (n=1977), 18% had asthma. There were more males than females in patients with opioid abuse/dependence without asthma (73% vs. 27%) and with opioid abuse/dependence with asthma (56% vs. 44%) [Chi square analysis, p<0.001]. In patients with chronic pain conditions (n=3259), 7% had asthma, and less than 1% had allergic rhinitis. There were more females than males in patients with chronic pain conditions without asthma (64% vs 36%) and with asthma (75% vs 26%) [Chi square analysis, p<0.05]. In patients with chronic pain conditions and asthma/allergic rhinitis, 51% had opioid prescriptions. 68% with opioid prescriptions were female.
CONCLUSIONS: We showed that the prevalence of asthma in patients with opioid abuse/dependence was higher than the national prevalence of asthma. The prevalence of opioid abuse/dependence is known to be higher in males, and females are more likely to use prescribed opioid for non-cancer pain.