Trending News Today: Cigna Uses AI to Predict Opioid Abuse in Patients

Top news of the day across the health care landscape.

A recent study found that individuals with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) may be up to 12 times more likely to have a heart attack, Reuters reported. According to the article, the researchers examined a nationwide database of medical records for more than 29 million individuals, including approximately 132,000 with ulcerative colitis and 159,000 with Crohn disease. The study found that those with IBD were 25% more likely to have a heart attack than those without the disorder, the article reported.

Cigna Corp is using artificial intelligence to identify patients who are most likely to abuse prescription opioids, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company developed predictive models from a combination of 16 datasets that included statistics about patients’ behavioral health claims, chronic disease history, and interactions with pharmacies. According to the article, Cigna identified approximately 1130 customers for outreach during a yearlong pilot program that ended in June 2018.

Many older adults who are prescribed antidepressants fail to take their medications or continue using them as directed, Reuters reported. The study included data from approximately 1500 individuals who were at least 60 years old and diagnosed with depression in 2012 by primary care providers. Overall, approximately 14% of the patients with depression who were prescribed antidepressants failed to start taking the drugs within 2 weeks, 15% missed doses at least 20% of the time, and 37% stopped altogether within 1 year, according to the article.