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New Opioid Use in Older Adults with COPD Associated with Increased Risk of Cardiac Death

Nurse Talking with Senior Patient Medical Team Looking at Xray

Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital have found that older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) who has initiated opioid use have a 215 percent higher risk of coronary artery disease-related death as compared to non-opioid users. Prior research indicated that elderly patients with COPD who recently started taking opioids are at a higher risk of dying from respiratory reasons than non-opioid users. The investigators reviewed 130,000+ records of adults living at home and more than 14,000 long-term care residents over the age of 66 with COPD in Ontario, Canada. Given that opioids are known to lower blood oxygen levels and to increase blood carbon dioxide levels, these factors can harm heart health. To find out more, read the MedcialXpress article.