Opioid use in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica

Michael D. Richter, Sara J. Achenbach, Jorge A. Zamora-Legoff, Cynthia S. Crowson, Eric L. Matteson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective. To examine the trends of chronic opioid use in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) over an 11-year period in Olmsted County, Minnesota, USA and compare use to subjects without the disease. Methods. Retrospective data on opioid prescriptions were collected from 2005 to 2015 in a population-based incidence cohort of patients meeting the 2012 American College of Rheumatology classification criteria for PMR alongside comparison subjects. Poisson regression methods were used to compare opioid use between these groups. Results. 244 patients with PMR and 211 non-PMR comparator subjects were included in the study. Rates of chronic opioid use were not significantly different between the two groups. 7.5% of patients with PMR were identified as chronic users by the end of the study period compared with 5.2% of non- PMR subjects. Any opioid use was also not significantly higher in PMR, with relative risk of 1.10 (95% CI 0.97, 1.26, p=0.14). Rates of chronic use among patients over 80 years were higher in both groups. Conclusion. Patients with PMR do not appear to have higher rates of opioid use compared with the general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1014-1017
Number of pages4
JournalClinical and experimental rheumatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Chronic pain
  • Epidemiology
  • Opioids
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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