According to a new study funded by AHRQ and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health:
- Blacks, Hispanics, and other groups less likely to get strong pain medications in hospital emergency departments
- Blacks and Hispanics who go to hospital emergency departments in pain are significantly less likely than whites to get pain-relieving opioid drugs
The study, which analyzed treatments for more than 150,000 pain-related visits to U.S. hospitals between 1993 and 2005, found 23 percent of blacks and 24 percent of Hispanics received opioids compared with 31 percent of whites. Twenty-eight percent of Asians and other groups received opioids. The study, Trends in Opioid Prescribing by Race/Ethnicity for Patients Seeking Care in US Emergency Departments, was published in the January 2, 2008 issue of JAMA.