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Cad Saude Publica. 2005 Mar-Apr;21(2):545-53. Epub 2005 Mar 21.

[A population-based study on use of medications by elderly Brazilians: the Bambuí Health and Aging Study (BHAS)].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Núcleo de Estudos em Saúde Pública e Envelhecimento, Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.


This study aimed to assess the prevalence and factors associated with use of prescribed and non-prescribed medications among older adults living in Bambuí, Minas Gerais, Brazil. A total of 1,606 (92.2%) out of 1,742 inhabitants aged 60+ years were interviewed. Among the participants, 1,281 (79.7%) and 274 (17.1%) had used prescribed and non-prescribed drugs in the previous 90 days, respectively. Use of prescribed medications was independently associated with gender (female), age (70-79 and > or = 80), higher family income, worse health conditions, and physician visits. Non-prescribed medications were negatively associated with physician visits and positively associated with female gender and consultation with a pharmacist. In general, factors associated with the use of prescribed and non-prescribed drugs in this study were similar to those observed in studies conducted in other countries. Meanwhile, our results differ from those of other studies by showing less frequent use of prescribed medications among the poorer elderly. Moreover, our results suggest that self-medication has been used in place of formal health care in the study community.

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