Prescription opioids are associated with higher mortality in patients diagnosed with sepsis: A retrospective cohort study using electronic health records

Rui Zhang, Jingjing Meng, Qinshu Lian, Xi Chen, Brent Bauman, Haitao Chu, Bradley Segura, Sabita Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Sepsis continues to be a major problem for hospitalized patients. Opioids are widely used medications for pain management despite recent evidence revealing their adverse effects. The present study evaluates survival differences between opioid-treated patients and non-opioid-treated patients hospitalized with a diagnosis of sepsis. Clinical data was extracted from the University of Minnesota’s Clinical Data Repository, which includes Electronic Health Records (EHRs) of the patients seen at 8 hospitals. Among 5,994 patients diagnosed with sepsis, 4,540 opioid-treated patients and 1,454 non-opioid patients were included based on whether they are exposed to prescription opioids during their hospitalization. Cox proportional hazards regression showed that after adjustments for demographics, clinical comorbidities, severity of illness, and types of infection, opioid-treated patients had a significantly higher risk of death at 28 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0190362
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


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