J Korean Med Sci.  2021 Apr;36(13):e87. 10.3346/jkms.2021.36.e87.

Effect of Opioids on All-cause Mortality and Opioid Addiction in Total Hip Arthroplasty: a Korea Nationwide Cohort Study

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Eulji University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Eulji University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea
  • 3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, Korea


The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of opioids before and after total hip arthroplasty (THA), to find out the effect of opioid use on mortality in patients with THA, and to analyze whether preoperative opioid use is a risk factor for sustained opioid use after surgery using Korean nationwide cohort data.
This retrospective nationwide study identified subjects from the Korean National Health Insurance Service-Sample cohort (NHIS-Sample) compiled by the Korean NHIS. The index date (time zero) was defined as 90 days after an admission to a hospital to fulfill the eligibility criteria of the THA.
In the comparison of death risk according to current use and the defined daily dose of tramadol and strong opioids in each patient group according to past opioid use, there were no statistically significant differences in the adjusted hazard ratio for death compared to the current non-users in all groups (P > 0.05). Past tramadol and strong opioid use in current users increased the risk of the sustained use of tramadol and strong opioids 1.45-fold (adjusted rate ratio [aRR]; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12–1.87; P = 0.004) and 1.65-fold (aRR; 95% CI, 1.43–1.91; P < 0.001), respectively, compared to past non-users.
In THA patients, the use of opioids within 6 months before surgery and within 3 months after surgery does not affect postoperative mortality, but a past-use history of opioid is a risk factor for sustained opioid use. Even after THA, the use of strong opioids is observed to increase compared to before surgery.


Total Hip Arthroplasty; Opioid; Mortality; Addiction; Nationwide Cohort Study
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