Predictors of new persistent opioid use after benign hysterectomy in the United States

Abdelrahman AlAshqar, Ryota Ishiwata, Chailee Moss, Kathleen M. Andersen, Lisa Yanek, Mark C. Bicket, G. Caleb Alexander, Mostafa A. Borahay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite substantial reductions in the past decade, prescription opioids continue to cause widespread morbidity and mortality in the United States. Little is known regarding patterns and predictors of opioid use among women undergoing benign hysterectomy. Objective: This study aimed to identify the incidence and predictors of new persistent opioid use after benign hysterectomy among opioid-naïve women from a set of demographic, operative, and opioid prescription characteristics of patients. Study Design: In this retrospective cohort study, we identified women undergoing benign hysterectomy from 2011 to 2016 using a validated national insurance claims database (IBM MarketScan Commercial Database). After excluding women with prevalent opioid use (from 365 to 31 days preoperatively), we identified patients who received a perioperative opioid prescription (30 days before to 14 days after hysterectomy) and evaluated them for new persistent opioid use, defined as at least 1 prescription from 15 to 90 days and at least 1 prescription from 91 to 365 days postoperatively. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine demographic, clinical, operative, and opioid prescription-related factors associated with new persistent use. International Classification of Diseases, Ninth and Tenth Revisions, and Clinical Classification Software codes were used to identify hysterectomies, preoperative pain and psychiatric diagnoses, surgical indications, and surgical complications included as covariates. Results: We identified 114,260 women who underwent benign hysterectomy and were not prevalent opioid users, of which 93,906 (82.2%) received at least 1 perioperative opioid prescription. Of 93,906 women, 4334 (4.6%) developed new persistent opioid use. Logistic regression demonstrated that new persistent use odds is significantly increased by younger age (18–34 years; adjusted odds ratio, 1.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.69–2.30), southern geographic location (adjusted odds ratio, 2.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.79–2.27), preoperative psychiatric and pain disorders (anxiety: adjusted odds ratio, 1.20 [95% confidence interval, 1.09–1.33]; arthritis: adjusted odds ratio, 1.30 [95% confidence interval, 1.21–1.40]), >1 perioperative prescription (adjusted odds ratio, 1.53; 95% confidence interval, 1.24–1.88), mood disorder medication use (adjusted odds ratio, 1.51; 95% confidence interval, 1.40–1.64), tobacco smoking (adjusted odds ratio, 1.65; 95% confidence interval, 1.45–1.89), and surgical complications (adjusted odds ratio, 1.84; 95% confidence interval, 1.69–2.00). Although statistically nonsignificant, total morphine milligram equivalent of ≥300 in the first perioperative prescription increased persistent use likelihood by 9% (95% confidence interval, 1.01–1.17). Dispensing of a first perioperative prescription before the surgery, as opposed to after, increased new persistent use odds by 61% (95% confidence interval, 1.50–1.72). Each additional perioperative day covered by a prescription increased the likelihood of persistent use by 2% (95% confidence interval, 1.02–1.03). In contrast, minimally invasive hysterectomy (laparoscopic: adjusted odds ratio, 0.89 [95% confidence interval, 0.71–0.88]; vaginal: adjusted odds ratio, 0.82 [95% confidence interval, 0.72–0.93]) and a more recent surgery year (2016 vs reference 2011: adjusted odds ratio 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.51–0.65) significantly decreased its likelihood. Conclusion: New persistent opioid use after hysterectomy was associated with several patient, operative, and opioid prescription-related factors. Considering these factors may be beneficial in counseling patients and shared decision-making about perioperative prescription to decrease the risk of persistent opioid use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68.e1-68.e24
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • hysterectomy
  • narcotics
  • opioids
  • pain management
  • persistent use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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