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Factors associated with multiple medication use in different age groups
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy.
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2009 (English)In: The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, ISSN 1060-0280, Vol. 43, no 12, 1978-1985 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Multiple medicine use among elderly persons is likely to be the result of treatment regimens developed over a long period of time. By learning more about how multiple medication use develops, the quality of prescribing may be improved across the adult lifespan. OBJECTIVE: To describe patterns of multiple medicine use in the general Swedish population and its association with sociodemographic, lifestyle, and health status factors. METHODS: Data from a cross-sectional population health survey collected during 2001-2005 from 2816 randomly selected Swedish residents (age 30-75 y; response rate 76%) were analyzed. Multiple medicine use was restricted to prescription drugs and defined as the 75th percentile; that is, the 25% of the study group using the highest number of drugs per individual. RESULTS: Seventy-one percent of the respondents used some kind of drug, 51.5% used one or more prescription drug, 38.4% used one or more over-the-counter (OTC) medication, and 8.3% used one or more herbal preparation. The cutoff amounts defining multiple medicine use were: 2 or more medications for 30- to 49-year-olds, 3 or more for 50- to 64-year-olds, and 5 or more for 65- to 75-year-olds. No association between use of multiple medicines and use of OTC drugs or herbal preparations was found. When drugs were classified into therapeutic subgroups, 76.3% of those aged 30-49 years, 97.9% of those aged 50-64 years, and 100% of those aged 65-75 years were taking a unique combination of drugs. Multivariate analyses showed that diabetes and poor self-rated health were associated with multiple medicine use in all age cohorts. Female sex and hypertension were associated with multiple medicine use among those aged 30-49 and 50-64 years, current smoking among those aged 50-64 years, and obesity among those aged 65-75 years. CONCLUSIONS: Multiple medicine use was associated with morbidity and poor self-rated health across all age groups. The vast majority of users of multiple drugs are taking a unique combination of medications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 43, no 12, 1978-1985 p.
Keyword [en]
health status factors, lifestyle factors, multiple medicine use, polypharmacy, population survey, self-rated health, sociodemographic factors
National Category
Pharmaceutical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-112930DOI: 10.1345/aph.1M354ISI: 000272644700006PubMedID: 19920158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-112930DiVA: diva2:288993
Available from: 2010-01-22 Created: 2010-01-22 Last updated: 2010-06-21Bibliographically approved

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