The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 2011, 13, 3 (pages: 39 - 48)

Sociodemographic and clinical differences among deceased and surviving cohort members of opioid maintenance therapy

Lovrečič B., Šemerl J. S., Tavčar R., Maremmani I.

Summary: This study aimed to analyse the differences found among surviving and deceased heroin addicts in opioid maintenance treatment in the years 2004-2006 in Slovenia in terms of their sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. 3,950 heroin addicts entered our retrospective cohort study; of these, 69 had died by the end of the study. Mean age as recorded at entry into treatment was significantly higher among those who had died by the end of the study than among survivors. Men and those who had undergone more than one treatment died significantly more frequently than women and those in their first treatment. In addition, those who were unemployed or had had fewer years of education proved to be more likely to die. Heroin was the main drug in both groups; among its users death rates were significantly higher than among those taking other widely used addictive drugs. This is the first cohort study that has taken the step of recording indirect deaths. Further studies are now needed to acquire a better understanding of the phenomenon.


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