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Clin Epidemiol. 2011;3:149-56. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S17747. Epub 2011 May 2.

Use of prescribed drugs among primiparous women: an 11-year population-based study in Denmark.

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Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital.



To describe patterns of prescribed drug use over time among primiparous women in Denmark.


Through the Danish Medical Birth Registry, we identified all primiparous women giving live birth or stillbirth at ≥ 22 gestational weeks in northern Denmark, from 1999 to 2009. From the Aarhus University Prescription Database we obtained information on the women's prescriptions for reimbursed drugs filled from 30 days before conception until delivery.


Among 85,710 primiparous women, 47,982 (56.0%) redeemed at least one prescription from 30 days before conception until delivery. Women aged 35 years and older had the highest overall prevalence of prescription drug use (61.1%). Age-standardized prevalence of drug use was 54.7% in 1999 and 61.2% in 2009, prevalence ratio (PR) of 1.13 (95% confidence interval 1.10; 1.16), adjusted for age and smoking.


Over the 11-year period from 1999 to 2009, we found a modest increase in overall use of drugs by primiparous women in Denmark. This increase was not, however, explained by an increasing proportion of older first-time mothers. We noted changes in patterns of use of anti-infective drugs and antidepressants.


drug utilization; epidemiology; pregnancy

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