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Drug use by demented and non-demented elderly people
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences. (Social Medicine)
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1997 (English)In: Age and Ageing, ISSN 0002-0729, E-ISSN 1468-2834, Vol. 26, 383-91 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: to determine the use of drugs by demented and non-demented elderly people in a population, by dementiastatus and type, age, sex and accommodation type.

Method: data were obtained from the Kungsholmen project, a longitudinal community study of people over 75 inStockholm, Sweden.

Results: 85% used at least one medicinal drug, and of these 12% were demented. Mean numbers of drugs used were2.8 for demented and 3-2 for non-demented people. 45% of demented people and 38% of non-demented peopleused psychotropic agents. Psychotropic use was higher in women and increased with institutionalization.Antipsychotic agents were used more by demented (22%) than by non-demented (35%) people: this was largelyexplained by differences in accommodation type. The odds ratio (OR) for use of antipsychotics by those ininstitutions compared with those living in their own homes was 9-32. Opioids were commonly prescribed fordemented people. The proportions taking opioids in those using analgesics were 42% in demented and 23% in nondementedpeople (OR 2.07). Laxatives were used by 18% of the demented people in institutions compared with39% of non-demented people in institutions.

Conclusion: being in an institution had a stronger association with the use of certain drugs (e.g. psychotropics)than did dementia status. Demented people, especially those in institutions, used a large number of antipsychoticsand opioids, but fewer laxatives and minor analgesics. Prescribers and institutional staff should be aware of thesefactors so they can optimize patient treatment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1997. Vol. 26, 383-91 p.
Keyword [en]
Alzheimer's disease, dementia, drug utilization, elderly, institutional care, nursing home, opioids, psychotropics
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-54025OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-54025DiVA: diva2:81934
Available from: 2008-10-17 Created: 2008-10-17 Last updated: 2010-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Claesson, Cecilia B
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