Does Opioid Therapy Affect Quality of Care for Diabetes Mellitus?

Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research, Bedford VA Medical Center, 200 Springs Rd, Bldg 70, Bedford, MA 01730, USA.
The American journal of managed care (Impact Factor: 2.26). 05/2009; 15(4):217-24.
Source: PubMed


To examine whether veterans who received chronic opioid therapy had worse diabetes performance measures than patients who did not receive opioids.
Retrospective cohort study.
We identified all patients with diabetes mellitus receiving care in US Department of Veterans Affairs facilities during 2004. Cases received at least 6 prescriptions for chronic opioids during 2004, while controls were randomly selected from among patients with diabetes who received no opioids. We compared process measures (glycosylated hemoglobin and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels tested and an eye examination performed) and outcome measures (glycosylated hemoglobin level < or =9.0% and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level < or =130 mg/dL) between groups.
Cases (n = 47,756) had slightly worse diabetes performance measures than controls (n = 220,912) after adjustment for covariates. For example, 86.4% of cases and 89.0% of controls had a glycosylated hemoglobin test during fiscal year 2004 (adjusted odds ratio, 0.69; P <.001). Among cases, receipt of higher-dose opioids was associated with additional decrement in diabetes performance measures, with a dose-response relationship.
Chronic opioid therapy among patients within the Veterans Affairs system is associated with slightly worse diabetes performance measures compared with patients who do not receive opioids. However, patients receiving higher dosages of opioids had additional decrements in diabetes performance measures; these patients may be appropriate targets for interventions to improve their care for pain and diabetes.

Full-text preview

Available from:
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For clinicians, using opioid therapy for chronic noncancer pain (CNCP) often gives rise to a conflict between treating their patients' pain and fears of addiction, diversion of medication, or legal action. Consequent stresses on clinical encounters might adversely affect some elements of clinical care. We evaluated a possible association between chronic opioid therapy (COT) for CNCP and receipt of various preventive services. We conducted a retrospective cohort study in 7 primary care clinics within the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network (ORPRN). Using medical records of 704 patients, aged 35 to 85 years, seen during a 3-year period, we compared the receipt of 4 preventive services between patients on COT for CNCP and patients not on chronic opioid therapy (non-COT). We used multivariate log-binomial regression analyses to estimate the relative risk of receipt of each preventive service. After adjustment for plausible confounders, we found that patients using COT had a statistically significantly lower relative risk (RR) of receipt of cervical cancer screening (RR = 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.47-0.76) and colorectal cancer screening (RR = 0.42; 95% CI, 0.22-0.80) when compared with non-COT patients. The RR was reduced, without statistical significance, for lipid screening (RR = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.54-1.10), and not notably reduced for smoking cessation counseling (RR = 0.95; 95% CI, 0.78-1.15). Patients using COT for CNCP were less likely to receive some preventive services. Research is needed to better understand barriers to and improved methods for providing preventive services for these patients.
    Preview · Article · May 2010 · The Annals of Family Medicine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dyslipidemia in heroin addicts is considered to be a precondition for developing metabolic syndrome. The aim was to evaluate the frequency in serum lipid disturbances of hepatitis C virus (HCV) seronegative heroin addicts; the capacity of high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-C and apolipoprotein B (apoB)/apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) for predicting hypertriglyceridemia/low HDL-C profile; correlation of HDL-C with the apoB/apoA-I and their correlation to plasma apo/lipoproteins. Sixty-six heroin addicts, seronegative for HCV and HIV, without liver morphological changes were divided into two groups according to their decreased/normal HDL-C concentrations. We registered decreased HDL-C in 58.8% of the addicts; decreased apoA-I in 50.9%, increased triglyceride (TGL) in 35.9%, and increased apoB/apoA-I in 3.8% of the patients; and 25.7% had hypertriglyceridemia/low HDL profile. Addicts with low HDL-C had higher TGL (1.73 ± .91 vs. 1.31 ± .71, pр = .02) compared with addicts with normal HDL-C and the controls. Low HDL-C group had higher apoB/apoA-I compared with addicts with normal HDL-C (.62 ± .28 vs. .42 ± .11, pр = .000). HDL-C inversely correlated to apoB/apoA-I (p = -.452, pр = .001). ApoB/apoA-I showed stronger correlation with the observed apo/lipoproteins than the HDL-C. The logistic regression model showed that apoB/apoA-I index (OR 89.1, 95% CI 1.3-5971.2) is more significant predictor in developing hypertriglyceridemia/low HDL profile than HDL-C. Heroin addiction is associated with decreased plasma concentrations of HDL-C, apoA-I, apoB, and increased TGL concentrations. In heroin addicts, HDL-C concentrations are significantly associated with the apoB/apoA-I index, which correlates to all lipid fractions and is a stronger predictor of metabolic syndrome lipid profile in heroin addicts.
    No preview · Article · May 2011 · The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: Carbohydrate metabolism disorder in heroin dependence is an issue with long history and contradicting results. The aim of the study was to evaluate basal insulin sensitivity in hepatitis C virus seronegative heroin dependents with normal body mass index, taking into consideration the duration of heroin dependence. Method: 78 heroin dependents and 32 healthy controls were enrolled in the cross-sectional, prospective study. The dependents were observed in 2 groups: group 1 with dependence duration less than or equal to 3 years and group 2 with more than 3 years. Homeostasis Model Assessment for Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) and β-cell function (HOMA-B%) were used to define basal glucose-insulin homeostasis. Results: The group with longer dependence duration had HOMA-IR (2.23 ± 3.15) significantly higher compared with the control group (1.23 ± 0.53, P = 0.016) but lower compared with the group with the shorter dependence duration (2.65 ± 2.66, P = 0.024), after adjustment for HOMA-B%, waist circumference, and aspartate aminotransferase. The decrease in HOMA-IR during prolonged heroin addiction was significantly associated with the reduced β-cell function (P < 0.001) and waist circumference (P = 0.004). Conclusions: Heroin dependence is associated with increased insulin resistance in hepatitis C virus seronegative heroin dependents. Prolonged heroin use is associated with reduction of basal β-cell pancreatic function with decreased insulin resistance controlled for waist circumference, but still inducing significantly decreased basal insulin sensitivity.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Journal of Addiction Medicine
Show more