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Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2019 Apr 4. doi: 10.1007/s00228-019-02669-2. [Epub ahead of print]

Use of prescription drugs in the older adult population-a nationwide pharmacoepidemiological study.

Author information

1
Clinical Research Center, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Kettegaard Allé 30, 2650, Hvidovre, Denmark. Line.due.christensen@regionh.dk.
2
Hospital Pharmacy, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark. Line.due.christensen@regionh.dk.
3
The Capital Region Pharmacy, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Hvidovre, Denmark. Line.due.christensen@regionh.dk.
4
The Research Unit for General Practice, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
5
Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacy, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
6
Clinical Research Center, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Kettegaard Allé 30, 2650, Hvidovre, Denmark.
7
Section for Social and Clinical Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
8
Emergency Department, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidore, Hvidovre, Denmark.
9
Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
10
Hospital Pharmacy, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark.
11
Section of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
12
Center for Clinical Research and Prevention, Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Frederiksberg, Denmark.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Multi-morbidity and polypharmacy are common among older people. It is essential to provide a better understanding of the complexity of prescription drug use among older adults to optimise rational pharmacotherapy. Population-based utilisation data in this age group is limited. Using the Danish nationwide health registries, we aimed to characterise drug use among Danish individuals ≥ 60 years.

METHODS:

This is a descriptive population-based study assessing drug prescription patterns in 2015 in the full Danish population aged ≥ 60 years. The use of specific therapeutic subgroups and chemical subgroups and its dependence on age were described using descriptive statistics. Profiles of drug combination patterns were evaluated using latent class analysis.

RESULTS:

We included 1,424,775 residents (median age 70 years, 53% women). Of all the older adults, 89% filled at least one prescription during 2015. The median number of drug groups used was five per person. The most used single drug groups were paracetamol and analogues (34%), statins (33%) and platelet aggregation inhibitors (24%). Eighteen drug profiles with different drug combination patterns were identified. One drug profile with expected use of zero drugs and 11 drug profiles expected to receive more than five different therapeutic subgroup drugs were identified.

CONCLUSION:

The use of drugs is extensive both at the population level and increasing with age at an individual level. Separating the population into different homogenous groups related to drug use resulted in 18 different drug profiles, of which 11 drug profiles received on average more than five different therapeutic subgroup drugs.

KEYWORDS:

Drug profiles; Drug utilisation; Older adults; Pharmacoepidemiology; Prescription drugs

PMID:
30949726
DOI:
10.1007/s00228-019-02669-2

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