Drug Deaths Soar for Middle-Aged Women
Prescription painkillers the culprit, says CDC
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2013 6:54 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Prescription painkillers are fast becoming a serious health menace to women, says the CDC. Some highlights from a new study, as noted by the Boston Globe, USA Today, the New York Times, and AP:

  • Eighteen women a day die from a prescription drug overdose.
  • Overall, men are still more likely to die from such overdoses—23,000 vs. 15,300 in 2010—but women are catching up. The rate of fatal overdoses among women rose about fivefold between 1999 and 2010, while the rate among men tripled.
  • The biggest increases in deaths were in women ages 45 through 54, and 55 through 64. The rate for each of group more than tripled over the last decade.
  • Drug overdoses now claim more women's lives than car accidents or cervical cancer.
  • Why? Some theories floated include women's smaller body masses, a growing body of research suggesting they suffer more more chronic pain than men, and their propensity to go "doctor shopping"—visiting physicians until they find one willing to write prescriptions.
  • "Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are dying at rates that we have never seen before," says CDC chief Thomas Frieden, who wants the study to be a wake-up call to doctors.

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Showing 3 of 45 comments
Witzelsucht
Jul 4, 2013 5:34 PM CDT
Women and men take these dangerous pharmaceutical drugs under the trust of pharmaceutical companies and their physicians. Pharmaceutical companies contribute millions to keep marijuana illegal, yet no one has ever overdosed on that harmless weed. Fifty years of hostile and often bogus and unscientific research aimed specifically at uncovering possible harmful effects of marijuana have found pot to be no worse and often safer than aspirin, caffeine, and of course alcohol and prescription drugs: that is enough to give marijuana a clean bill of health. Please support legalization of marijuana and shut down the collusion of police, pharmaceutical companies, and brewers who exploit and deceive you about marijuana.
Chatsworth
Jul 4, 2013 4:39 PM CDT
It's what women have been clamoring for, equality of the sexes in everything: equal pay,equal rights,equal drug overdoses.
jagerhans
Jul 4, 2013 4:29 AM CDT
"safe" prescription drugs killing scores of patients day after day. ha.