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In This Issue of Archives of Internal Medicine
April 11, 2011

In This Issue of Archives of Internal Medicine

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(7):614. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.118

This population-based nested case-control study investigated the relationship between opioid dose and related mortality among Ontario, Canada, residents with nonmalignant pain eligible for public drug funding. Gomes et al found that a high daily dose of opioids is associated with large relative and absolute increases in opioid-related mortality. In particular, doses exceeding 200 mg of morphine (or equivalent) were associated with a nearly 3-fold risk compared with lower doses (<20 mg of morphine or equivalent). These findings have important implications, largely because the majority of opioid deaths were avoidable and occurred in young people (aged 43 years at death, on average).