Non-Whites Less Likely to Receive Narcotics for Stone Pain

Non-white patients were 23.8% less likely than white patients with kidney or ureteral stones to be prescribed narcotics.
Non-white patients were 23.8% less likely than white patients with kidney or ureteral stones to be prescribed narcotics.

NEW ORLEANS—Non-white patients with urinary stones may be less likely than their white counterparts to receive adequate pain medication in the emergency department (ED), researchers reported at the American Urological Association annual meeting.

In a study examining 803,015 ED visits during the 2003–2013 study period, Courtney K. Rowe, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues found that non-white patients were 23.8% less likely than white patients with kidney or ureteral stones to be prescribed narcotics. They observed no racial disparity in the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

Whites accounted for 67.7% of visits, with Hispanic and black patients accounting for 5.1% and 5.8% of visits, respectively. Uncategorized patients and those listed as “other” made up 21.4% of visits. Narcotics and NSAIDS were prescribed for 82.1% and 47.6% of patients, respectively, according to the researchers.

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