Do Socioeconomic Disparities Exist in Postoperative Opioid Prescription and Consumption?

Maya Lakshmi Srinivasan, Shruti Zaveri, Tamar Nobel, Prerna Khetan, Celia M. Divino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Since 1999, >200 000 people in the United States have died from a prescription opioid overdose. Lower socioeconomic status (SES) is one important risk factor. This study investigates socioeconomic disparities in postoperative opioid prescription and consumption. Methods: September 2018-April 2019, 128 patients were surveyed postoperatively regarding opioid consumption. The neighborhood disadvantage was calculated using area deprivation index (ADI). The top 3 quartiles were “high SES” and the bottom quartile “low SES.” Results: The study population included 96 high SES patients, median ADI 6 (2-12.3) and 32 low SES, median ADI 94.5 (81.3-97.3). For both, median Oxycodone 5 mg prescribed was 20 pills. 29.2% of high SES consumed 0 pills, 40.6% consumed 1-9 pills, and 27.1% consumed 10+ pills. 25.0% of low SES consumed 0 pills, 46.9% consumed 1-9 pills, and 18.8% consumed 10+ pills. No significant difference in opioid prescription (P =.792) or consumption (P =.508) between SES groups. Discussion: Patients of all SES are prescribed and consumed opioids in similar patterns with no significant difference in postoperative pain following ambulatory surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1677-1683
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • general surgery
  • opioid
  • pain management
  • public health
  • socioeconomic disparities


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