A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found that the number of women dying from prescription painkiller overdoses rose by about 400 percent from the years 1999 to 2010.
The CDC report shows that 18 women die everyday across the country as a result of a prescription painkiller overdose. More than 6500 died in 2010 alone.
The report shows that men are still more likely to die of prescription painkiller overdoses, but the gap between men and women is closing.
“Women get more opioid pain medication prescriptions,” said Tim Wiegand, University of Rochester Medical Center Toxicology Director. “They tend to be on higher doses, they have higher rates of chronic pain, so there are some reasons behind why there might be an increased rate of deaths.”
The report suggests that the skyrocketing overdose death rates among woman is closely related to the boom in use of prescribed painkillers.
The new report is the government’s first to spotlight how the death trend has been more dramatic among women.