J Addict Dis. 2023 Mar 6:1-5. doi: 10.1080/10550887.2023.2173929. Online ahead of print.
The present study aims to compare Years of Life Lost for unintentional drug overdose and the leading underlying causes of death in the United States annually from 2017 to 2019. Years of Life Lost provide valuable context to incident deaths when comparing the relative mortality burden of underlying causes of death. Prior research has shown unintentional drug overdose was the third leading cause of Years of Life Lost in the state of Ohio in 2017. However, this finding has yet to be replicated at the national level in the US. Death statistics for 2017-2019 were accessed via CDC WONDER. Years of Life Lost were calculated for unintentional drug overdose and each of the top five causes of incident deaths in the US during the study period. Unintentional drug overdose caused nearly seven million Years of Life Lost in the US during the three-year period of study and was the fourth leading cause of Years of Life Lost after cancer, heart disease and other accidents. Incidence alone provides an incomplete picture of the effect of unintentional drug overdose on overall mortality burden in the US. Years of Life Lost give critical context to the overdose crisis, underscoring unintentional drug overdose as a leading cause of premature mortality.
PMID:36876385 | DOI:10.1080/10550887.2023.2173929