Mortality risk from opioid overdose has previously been measured in terms of thresholds of risk. Four scientists, including UNC Lineberger member Kurt Ribisl, PhD, are co-authors on a new cohort study finding that dose-dependent opioid overdose risk among patients does not show evidence of a distinct risk threshold.


Nabarun Dasgupta, PhD, is a 2013 alumnus of the Department of Epidemiology at the Gillings School. Steve Marshall, PhD, professor, and Michele Jonsson-Funk, PhD, research assistant professor, are both faculty in the same department. Kurt Ribisl, PhD, is a professor of health behavior at the School and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Their article, titled “Cohort Study of the Impact of High-dose Opioid Analgesics on Overdose Mortality,” was published online Sept. 1 byPain Medicine.

The researchers used Poisson regression models to quantify dose-dependent overdose mortality across a large spectrum of clinically common doses and examined the contributions of benzodiazepines and extended-release opioid formulations to mortality.