Prevalence of Preoperative Opioid Use and Characteristics Associated With Opioid Use Among Patients Presenting for Surgery

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ImportancePatterns of preoperative opioid use are not well characterized across different surgical services, and studies in this patient population have lacked important self-reported data of pain and affect.ObjectivesTo assess the prevalence of preoperative opioid use and the characteristics of these patients in a broadly representative surgical cohort.Design, Setting, and ParticipantsCross-sectional, observational study of patients undergoing surgery at a tertiary care academic medical center. Data were collected as a part of large prospective institutional research registries from March 1, 2010, through April 30, 2016.ExposuresPreoperative patient and procedural characteristics, including prospectively assessed self-reported pain and functional measures.Main Outcomes and MeasuresPatient-reported opioid use before surgery.ResultsOf the total 34 186 patients recruited (54.2% women; mean [SD] age, 53.1 [16.1] years), preoperative opioid use was reported in 7894 (23.1%). The most common opioids used were hydrocodone bitartrate (4685 [59.4%]), tramadol hydrochloride (1677 [21.2%]), and oxycodone hydrochloride (1442 [18.3%]). Age of 31 to 40 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.26; 95% CI, 1.10-1.45), tobacco use (former use aOR, 1.32 [95% CI, 1.22-1.42]; current use aOR, 1.62 [95% CI, 1.48-1.78]), illicit drug use (aOR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.16-2.60), higher pain severity (aOR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.31-1.35), depression (aOR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.12-1.33), higher Fibromyalgia Survey scores (aOR, 1.06, 95% CI, 1.05-1.07), lower life satisfaction (aOR, 0.95, 95% CI, 0.93-0.96), and more medical comorbidities (American Society of Anesthesiology score aOR, 1.47 [95% CI, 1.37-1.58]; Charlson Comorbidity Index aOR, 1.29 [95% CI, 1.18-1.41]) were all independently associated with preoperative opioid use. Preoperative opioid use was most commonly reported by patients undergoing orthopedic (226 [65.1%]) and neurosurgical spinal (596 [55.1%]) procedures and least common among patients undergoing thoracic procedures (244 [15.7%]). After adjusting for patient characteristics, the patients undergoing lower extremity procedures were most likely to report preoperative opioid use (aOR, 3.61; 95% CI, 2.81-4.64), as well as those undergoing pelvic (excluding hip) (aOR, 3.09; 95% CI, 1.88-5.08), upper extremity (aOR, 3.07; 95% CI, 2.12-4.45), and spinal or spinal cord (aOR, 2.68; 95% CI, 2.15-3.32) procedures, with the group undergoing intrathoracic surgery as the reference group.Conclusions and RelevanceIn this large study of preoperative opioid use that includes patient-reported outcome measures, more than 1 in 4 patients presenting for surgery reported opioid use. These data provide important insights into this complicated patient population that would appear to help guide future preoperative optimization and perioperative opioid-weaning interventions.

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