Document Type


Publication Date



School of Pharmacy


Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy


Introduction: There is scant literature on the use of opioids among community-dwelling elderly with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). Methods: We adopted a retrospective, cross-sectional study design using Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey data from 2006 to 2013. The study sample included elderly community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries who were diagnosed with chronic pain conditions and had Medicare fee-for-service plans for the entire year. We conducted bivariate c2 test and multivariate logistic regression to examine the relationship between opioid use and ADRD status. Results: The study sample included 19,347 Medicare beneficiaries; 7.7% of them had ADRD. We found no statistically significant difference in opioid use by ADRD status in the unadjusted analysis; however, controlling for various factors, those with ADRD had lower odds of opioid use (adjusted odds ratio 5 0.81, 95% confidence interval 5 0.71, 0.93) than those without ADRD. Discussion: This population-based study suggests that elderly Medicare beneficiaries with ADRD and chronic pain conditions may have undertreatment of pain. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Source Citation

Shen C, Zhao X, Dwibedi N, Wiener RC, Findley PA, Sambamoorthi U. Opioid use and the presence of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias among elderly Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with chronic pain conditions. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions. 2018;4(1):661-668. doi:10.1016/j.trci.2018.10.012