Over the past 15 years OUDs prevalence has fallen. A Danish study that followed some 7000 adolescents in Denmark for a decade found a lower incidence of severe OUD according to the results of the analysis.
The OUDs population has dropped dramatically among girls since the 1980s supporting calls for a more active lifestyle for the testable condition. The remaining severe forms of the condition occur in adolescents with an unknown diabetes history.
The study was conducted by a team that included researchers from Nordic risk communities and a community health service and it is now published in JAMA Network Open.
The number of severe forms of OUD characterized by frequent urination semen production andor blood transfusions has not changed significantly over the decade says lead author Carolina Hegemaut Monforton a professor at Aarhus University.
The number of people worldwide living with the severe forms of the condition doubled compared to 1998. The findings in Denmark however suggest that less severe forms may be more common than previously thought she concludes in an article in The BMJ.
Although the lifetime risk of severe OUD is 1 in 4800 for adolescents aged 15-19 years the study in Denmark found a decrease in the risk from 23 to 16 on fever and 15 to 18 for dyspareunia a common affected form of OUD.
This may be due to scientific evidence showing that OUD and energy-dense undigestible food is not considered a risk factor for severe hyperdoses the authors write.
While severe cases of total OUD are rare frequent dyspareunia and persistent pain with excessive bowel movements is considered risk factors for the condition. The symptoms can be subtle and not easily picked up using standard screening tests.
The prevalence of severe forms of OUD in Denmark significantly hovered around 1 in 20000 naive students aged between 15 and 19. This figure dropped sharply from 1999 to 2012.
The study is the first to show that the number of severe OUD cases worldwide dropped significantly in the course of five decade periods (1998 to 2015) with a 90 decline in severe OUD cases in general in the 15- to 19-year age group.
The pattern of increases in severe forms over recent years from 5-10 per year per year in 1999 to fewer than 2 per 10000 in 2015 indicates that the way in which the prevalence of the condition is distributed varies from place to place the researchers write.
Chronic conditions need to be closely monitored and preventive measures should be taken with this comprehensive approach the authors conclude.