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PLoS One. 2015 Oct 7;10(10):e0139755. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139755. eCollection 2015.

The Role of Patients' Age on Their Preferences for Choosing Additional Blood Pressure-Lowering Drugs: A Discrete Choice Experiment in Patients with Diabetes.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom.
Department of Health Psychology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.



To assess whether patients' willingness to add a blood pressure-lowering drug and the importance they attach to specific treatment characteristics differ among age groups in patients with type 2 diabetes.


Patients being prescribed at least an oral glucose-lowering and a blood pressure-lowering drug completed a questionnaire including a discrete choice experiment. This experiment contained choice sets with hypothetical blood pressure-lowering drugs and a no additional drug alternative, which differed in their characteristics (i.e. effects and intake moments). Differences in willingness to add a drug were compared between patients <75 years (non-aged) and ≥75 years (aged) using Pearson χ²-tests. Multinomial logit models were used to assess and compare the importance attached to the characteristics.


Of the 161 patients who completed the questionnaire, 151 (72%) could be included in the analyses (mean age 68 years; 42% female). Aged patients were less willing to add a drug than non-aged patients (67% versus 84% respectively; P = 0.017). In both age groups, the effect on blood pressure was most important for choosing a drug, followed by the risk of adverse drug events and the risk of death. The effect on limitations due to stroke was only significant in the non-aged group. The effect on blood pressure was slightly more important in the non-aged than the aged group (P = 0.043).


Aged patients appear less willing to add a preventive drug than non-aged patients. The importance attached to various treatment characteristics does not seem to differ much among age groups.

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