One in five deaths among adults aged 25-34 is due to opioid-related causes, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

“We found that one in 65 deaths was opioid-related in 2016, representing an enormous toll in YLL (Years of Life Lost),” wrote the study authors: Tara Gomes, Ph.D.; Mina Tadrous, PharmD, PhD.; Muhammad M. Mamdani, PharmD, MA, MPH; J. Michael Paterson, MSC; and David N. Juurlink, MD, PhD. “Indeed, in the United States, the YLL from opioid-related deaths exceed those attributable to hypertension, HIV/AIDS, and pneumonia. This burden is highest among adults aged 25 to 34 years…in this age group one in five deaths in the United States is opioid-related.”

The study defined opioid-related deaths as “those in which a prescription or illicit opioid contributed substantially to an individual’s cause of death as determined by death certificates.”

Over the 15 years analyzed by the report, there were 335,123 opioid-related deaths, with men accounting for 67.5 percent. According to the study, that's a 345 percent increase from 2001.

According to the study, opioid drugs were responsible for almost 13 years lost (per 1,000), in the overall category of participants age 25 to 34 years. The second highest burden from opioid deaths was for adults age 35-44 years, the study said, representing a loss of 9.9 years of life per 1,000 people in that age group.