Disparities in Opioid Overdose Death Trends by Race/Ethnicity, 2018-2019, from the HEALing Communities Study

Marc R. Larochelle, Svetla Slavova, Elisabeth D. Root, Daniel J. Feaster, Patrick J. Ward, Sabrina C. Selk, Charles Knott, Jennifer Villani, Jeffrey H. Samet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. To examine trends in opioid overdose deaths by race/ethnicity from 2018 to 2019 across 67 HEALing Communities Study (HCS) communities in Kentucky, New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio. Methods. We used state death certificate records to calculate opioid overdose death rates per 100 000 adult residents of the 67 HCS communities for 2018 and 2019. We used Poisson regression to calculate the ratio of 2019 to 2018 rates. We compared changes by race/ethnicity by calculating a ratio of rate ratios (RRR) for each racial/ethnic group compared with non-Hispanic White individuals. Results. Opioid overdose death rates were 38.3 and 39.5 per 100 000 for 2018 and 2019, respectively, without a significant change from 2018 to 2019 (rate ratio51.03; 95% confidence interval [CI]50.98, 1.08). We estimated a 40% increase in opioid overdose death rate for non-Hispanic Black individuals (RRR51.40; 95% CI51.22, 1.62) relative to non-Hispanic White individuals but no change among other race/ethnicities. Conclusions. Overall opioid overdose death rates have leveled off but have increased among non- Hispanic Black individuals. Public Health Implications. An antiracist public health approach is needed to address the crisis of opioid-related harms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1851-1854
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume111
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative (awards UM1DA049406, UM1DA049412, UM1DA049415, UM1DA049417, and UM1DA049394).

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative (awards UM1DA049406, UM1DA049412, UM1DA049415, UM1DA049417, and UM1DA049394). We would like to acknowledge the support for this study from the following agencies: Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), NYSDOH Public Health Information Group, NYS Bureau of Vital Records, RecoveryOhio, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (InnovateOhio Platform), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Biostatistics Epidemiology Data Analytics Center at Boston University. We also would like to thank the following colleagues and collaborators for their support of the study: Sharon Coleman, Trang Nguyen, Vivian Nwudu, Aimee Mack, Stephanie Mack, Yali Meng, and Greg Patts.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Public Health Association Inc.. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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