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Iowa Opioid Summary

Revised February 2018

Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths

In 2016, there were 183 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in Iowa—a rate of 6.2 deaths per 100,000 persons—compared to the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000. Since 2012, the number of deaths attributed to heroin overdose have increased from 14 to 47 deaths. In the same period, synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths rose from 36 to 58 deaths.

This graph shows the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in Iowa compared to the United States from 1999-2016. In 2016, the opioid overdose death rate was 6.2 deaths per 100,000 persons in Iowa, versus 13.3 deaths per 100,000 persons in the United States.

Opioid Pain Reliever Prescriptions

In 2013, Iowa providers wrote 73.6 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons (approximately 2.3 million prescriptions)—less than the average national rate (82.5 prescriptions per 100 persons) (CDC, MMWR, 2014). Since then, opioid prescriptions in the United States have declined, with a nearly 7.2 percent decline in Iowa from 2013 to 2015, resulting in an estimated 68.0 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons (2.1 million prescriptions) in 2015 (IMS Health, 2016).

This graph shows the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Iowa from 1999-2016. In 2016, there were 183 opioid-related overdose deaths: 58 involved synthetic opioids, 47 involved heroin, and 92 involved prescription opioids. Categories are not mutually exclusive because deaths may involve more than one drug.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

The incidence of NAS in Iowa has increased from 0.3 cases per 1,000 births in 1999 to 2.2 cases per 1,000 in 2013—a more than sevenfold increase. The average across the 28 states included in the 2013 analysis was 6.0 cases per 1,000 births (CDC, MMWR, 2014).

HIV Prevalence and HIV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use (IDU)

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2015, 9.1 percent (3,5941) of the 39,513 new diagnoses of HIV in the United States were attributed to IDU. Among new cases, 8.2 percent (2,6141) of cases among men and 13.2 percent (980) of cases among women were transmitted via IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: In 2014, 955,081 Americans were living with a diagnosed HIV infection—a rate of 299.5 per 100,000 persons. Of these, 18.1 percent (131,0561) of males and 22.6 percent (52,013) of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (CDC).
  • State Incidence: Of the new HIV cases in 2015, 126 occurred in Iowa, with 9.4 percent1 of new cases in males and 10.5 percent of new cases in females attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).
  • State Prevalence: In 2014, an estimated 2,355 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV in Iowa—a rate of 91 infections per 100,000 persons. Of these, 17.2 percent1 of males and 18.6 percent of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).

Hepatitis C (HCV) Prevalence and HCV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2015, there were 181,871 reported cases of chronic HCV and 33,900 estimated cases of acute HCV2 (CDC). Where data were available, 64.2 percent of acute cases reported IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: An estimated 3.5 million Americans are living with HCV, including approximately 2.7 million living with chronic infections (CDC).
  • State Incidence: In 2015, Iowa reported 2,235 total cases of HCV. In a subgroup of ≥30-year-olds, there were 303 reported cases of HCV, and of these, 51.1 percent were attributed to IDU (Iowa.gov).
  • State Prevalence: An estimated 35,865-136,900 persons are living with HCV in Iowa. As of 2015, a total of 21,748 persons were diagnosed with HCV (Iowa.gov).

The National Institute of Health Funds Center of Excellence in Pain Education

This is the logo for the NIH Pain Consortium: Centers of Excellence in Pain Education.

Iowa is home to one of the eleven Centers of Excellence in Pain Education (CoEPEs): The University of Iowa. The CoEPEs act as hubs for the development, evaluation, and distribution of pain management curriculum resources for medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy and other schools to improve how health care professionals are taught about pain and its treatment.

Additional Resources

NIH RePORTER FY2017 NIH-funded projects related to opioid use and use disorder in Iowa: 2

Notes

  1. Includes transmission to individuals with injection drug use as a risk factor.
  2. 2015 estimate after adjusting for under-ascertainment and under-reporting. Data for 2015 were unavailable for Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.

This page was last updated February 2018

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