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The numbers of prescription overdose deaths among women increased 400% from 1999 to 2010, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report stated that from 1999 to 2010, the rate of prescription drug overdose deaths of women increased 400%. During the same time period, prescription overdose deaths for men increased of 250%.

CDC director Tom Frieden said men are still more likely to die of overdoses, but the number of deaths among women increased four times more than deaths in women from cocaine and heroin combined.

Women may be more prone to overdoses because they’re more likely to have chronic pain, be prescribed painkillers, have higher doses, and use them longer than men, said Linda Degutis, director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. But doctors may not recognize these facts about women, said John Eadie, director of a Brandeis University program that tracks prescription-drug monitoring in the USA.

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