That’s important. Bacteria exposed to air develop differently from bacteria that have not been exposed to outside air. The inside of the colon is pretty much air-free.
The stool has also been kept frozen, which means it has no exposure to any antibiotic resistance that may have developed and spread in bacteria since 1994. A company called Achim Biotherapeutics makes the fecal transplant product used for the study.
Among the eldest two age groups, however, the percentage of deaths attributable to opioids remained relatively low, but jumped by 745% and 635%, respectively.
Still, the study says opioids were involved in 1.5% of all deaths in 2016, regardless of age group. That means, the researchers write, that the drugs were responsible for more life years lost than high blood pressure, HIV/AIDs and pneumonia, and a tenth of those lost to cancer.
“Premature death from opioid-related causes imposes an enormous and growing public health burden across the United States,” the researchers write. “These trends highlight a need for tailored programs and policies.”.