Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Possible Mortality Risk With Tramadol in Osteoarthritis

Key clinical point: Tramadol was associated with higher mortality in older patients with osteoarthritis, compared with patients taking NSAIDs.

Major finding: Patients taking tramadol had 71% higher all-cause mortality risk than did patients taking naproxen.

Study details: A series of retrospective cohort studies totaling 88,902 individuals aged 50 years or older with osteoarthritis.

Disclosures: The study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. One author declared funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse during the conduct of the study and grants from Optum Labs outside the study. No other conflicts of interest were declared.


Zeng C et al. JAMA. 2019;321:969-82.