A study has shown that long-acting opioids — such as sustained-release morphine and controlled-release oxycodone — for chronic pain relief increase the risk of death from cardiovascular and other causes. In the study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the researchers compared long-acting opioid use to the use of anticonvulsants or antidepressants for chronic pain unrelated to cancer. They found that prescription opioid use was associated with more deaths. The deaths were mostly for reasons other than an unintentional overdose, and more than half of these were cardiovascular related. The researchers recommend that their findings be considered when evaluating the harms and benefits of pain treatment.