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New Study Explores Prescription Drug Use
by admin on: August 1st, 2011

The National Center for Health Statistics conducted a study that investigated prescription drug use from 1999 to 2008. The data used in this study was derived from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (from the government) ??? also known as Nhanes. The subjects in this study were a representative sample of about 5,000 adults and children around the country; research procedures included surveys, as well as interviews and physical examinations. Among the findings of this study is the notion that people are taking far too many drugs which is a concern, especially for older people, as the side effects may begin to outweigh benefit.

More specifically, the data can be broken down into sex, race and ethnicity. Overall, women used more prescription drugs than men. People classified as ???white??? used more prescription medications than Mexican-Americans and non-Hispanic blacks. As expected, people that have health insurance (including a plan for prescription drug coverage) were nearly twice as likely to use prescription medications then people that did not have insurance.

In addition to the categories listed above, prescription drug use was broken down into age categories. For adolescent subjects, the most commonly used prescription drugs were categorized as drugs for treating attention deficit disorder (ADD) and related conditions. Adolescent use of these products was up to six percent in 2008 as compared with three percent in 1999. Of note, children than were younger than 12 years of age showed a decrease in the use of antibiotics.

Patients that were over 60 years of age most typically took drugs that lower cholesterol. In addition, more than two-thirds of the patients over 60 years old taking drugs were taking multiple drugs (at least five different medications).

As expected, money spent on prescription drugs more than doubled over the 10 years observed.

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