Drug‐Poisoning Deaths Involving Heroin St. Louis County, Missouri
Saint Louis County Department of Public Health
Drug poisoning (overdose) is the number one cause of injury‐related death in the United States.1 While the rate for deaths involving opioid analgesics (prescription pain medication) has leveled in recent years, the rate for deaths involving heroin has been steadily increasing since 2010.1,2 The greatest increase has been seen in the Midwest – heroin death rates have increased from 0.7 per 100,000 population in 2007 to 4.3 per 100,000 in 2013.1 Using data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Vital Statistics, this data report provides a description of trends and demographics for heroin‐related drug‐poisoning deaths in St. Louis County, Missouri from 2010 through 2014. Figure 1. Age‐adjusted rates for drug‐poisoning deaths involving heroin: St. Louis County, Midwest, and United States, 2010‐2014. 16.0
Deaths per 100,000 Population
St. Louis County
10.0 8.0 6.0
Midwest (Year 2013 value)
2.0 0.0 2010
Year Sources: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Vital Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics.
Figure 1 shows heroin death rates, described as drug‐poisoning deaths involving heroin, that have been adjusted for differences in age distribution between populations (i.e., age‐adjusted) for St. Louis County, the Midwest for 2013 (the highest rate recorded in recent years), and the United States through 2013. The error bars shown in the figure for St. Louis County (i.e., the vertical lines intersecting each point) are a graphical representation of the 95% confidence intervals (CI) for each death rate. As seen in 2013, the St. Louis County rate of drug‐poisoning deaths involving heroin were over 3.7 times the national average – 10.0 per 100,000 population (88 total deaths of St. Louis County residents) as compared to 2.7 per 100,000 for the United States overall. In 2014, the rate increased to 12.2 per 100,000 in St. Louis County with a total of 110 deaths involving heroin. Note: This report includes all heroin deaths of St. Louis County residents that occur within or outside of St. Louis County’s boundary.
Drug‐poisoning Deaths Involving Heroin
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Table 1. Drug‐poisoning deaths involving heroin per 100,000 population, St. Louis County, 2010‐2014 average.
Rate 95% Confidence Interval Count per Year St. Louis County 9.7 8.8 to 10.6 88 Age Group