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Pharmacotherapy. 2000 May;20(5):575-82.

Inappropriate drug use among community-dwelling elderly.

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Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


This study examined inappropriate drug use defined by updated criteria among respondents in the second and third in-person waves of the Duke Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly. Information about sociodemographics, health status, access to health care, and drug use was determined by in-home interviews. Drug use was coded for therapeutic class and appropriateness by applying explicit criteria. Among participants, 27% of the second and 22.5% of the third in-person wave took one or more inappropriate agents. Of these drugs, the most common therapeutic classes were central nervous system and cardiovascular. Longitudinal multivariate analyses found that persons taking several prescription drugs, those having continuity of care, those who previously took inappropriate drugs, and those with many health visits were most likely (p<0.05) to use inappropriate drugs. We conclude that inappropriate drug use is common among community-dwelling elderly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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