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Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults with chronic pain had used a prescription opioid in the past three months when surveyed in 2019, according to data published Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Why it matters: Prescription opioid use for chronic pain management has been associated with an increased risk of misuse, addiction and death — have been the subject of massive class-action lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

By the numbers: The findings show 28% of adults with Medicaid and 28% with Medicare had the highest use of prescription opioids.

  • Men and employed adults were less likely to have used a prescription opioid compared with women and unemployed adults, respectively.
  • Adults 45–64 was the highest age group to use prescription opioids at 26%, while usage dropped off among adults aged 65 and over.

Go deeper

Oct 12, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Life expectancy improved in Iowa before COVID-19

Expand chart
Data: University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute; Chart: Axios Visuals

Iowa's life expectancy is 79.4 years, according to a new report from the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute. That's a slight increase from 79.2 years recorded by the CDC three years ago.

  • Sioux County had the state's highest projection (83.9 years), while Montgomery had the lowest (75.8).

Yes, but: The recent report uses prepandemic data from 2017-2019, so COVID-19 and a recent spike in opioid deaths aren't yet fully reflected in the data.

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Celebrities are America's new politicians

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Launching gubernatorial bids, making presidential endorsements, founding schools: Celebrities are getting increasingly involved in U.S. public and political life.

Why it matters: As we've reported, politics is no longer just the purview of career politicians, as companies and their CEOs throw their weight around to affect policies. Now, movie stars, famous musicians and professional athletes also are using their influence in politics.

Updated 13 mins ago - Sports

Baseball's minor leaguers get a major win

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starting next season, MLB teams will be required to provide housing for minor league players.

Why it matters: "This is a historic victory," Harry Marino, director of the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers, told ESPN. It's also just the beginning of a fight for improved quality of life.