Hospitalizations for Opioid Overdose – Population Differences


Contact: Joe Martin
717-232-6787 or

HOSPITAL ADMISSION RATES FOR HEROIN OVERDOSES INCREASE MOST FOR OLDER PENNSYLVANIANS (AGE 55 AND OLDER), HISPANICS AND THOSE WITH LOWER INCOMES

Harrisburg, PA - September 12, 2018 - The hospitalization rate for Pennsylvanians age 55 and older admitted for a heroin overdose increased 35.8%, between 2016 and 2017. Hispanic residents had the highest increase at 48.8%. Lower income residents had an increase of 40.8%. There was a 12.5% increase in the rate of hospital admissions for heroin overdose among Pennsylvania residents overall.

“Opioid use is an ‘equal opportunity offender’ and affects all segments of Pennsylvania’s population; yet, some have been hit particularly hard,” stated Joe Martin, PHC4’s Executive Director. “While Pennsylvania has made progress in curbing admissions for pain medication, heroin continues to be a significant challenge,” added Martin.

These results are included in a research brief released today by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4). The brief is part of a series produced by PHC4 that examines opioid-related hospitalizations. This edition focuses on demographic differences among Pennsylvania residents hospitalized for opioid overdose, identifying those with the highest rates of hospitalization in 2017 as well as those with the highest rate increases between 2016 and 2017. Results for heroin overdose and pain medication overdose are reported separately.

Findings by age:

Findings by race/ethnicity:

Findings by household income:

Findings by rural/urban residency:

Findings by female/male:

County-level population-based rates for the two-year period 2016 and 2017 are also included in the brief.

The brief is available on PHC4's website at www.phc4.org. You can also link to it through social media on Facebook and Twitter.

PHC4 is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting information that can be used to improve the quality and restrain the cost of health care in Pennsylvania.