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Changes in medication use from age 26 to 32 in a representative birth cohort

Thomson, W. M., Poulton, R., Hancox, R. J., Ryan, K. M. and Al-Kubaisy, S. (2007) Changes in medication use from age 26 to 32 in a representative birth cohort. Internal Medicine Journal, 37 (8). pp. 543-549. ISSN 1445-5994

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2007.01360.x

Abstract/Summary

Background: To date, longitudinal studies of medications have been confined to older adults or clinical samples, with no data from prospective studies of younger adults. The aim of the study was to examine changes in medication usage between ages 26 and 32 in a prospective study of a representative birth cohort. Methods: Medication use during the previous 2 weeks was investigated among 960 individuals at ages 26 and 32. Results: Nearly two-thirds took at least one medication at each age, with medication prevalence higher among women than among men. Three-quarters of those taking at least one at age 26 were doing so at 32. Over-the-counter medication prevalence increased from 35 to 43% between 26 and 32 years of age. Although the prevalence of prescribed medications decreased (from just under half to just over one-third, and from two-thirds to below half among women), there was no significant difference between the ages once hormonal contraceptives were accounted for. By 32, reduced usage of hormonal contraceptives was apparent, with one-third of age-26 users still taking these at 32. Other categories showing major changes were analgesics (increased), anti-asthma drugs (decreased), antidepressants (increased) and antiulcer drugs (increased). At 32, 82% of those taking analgesics, 85% of those taking nutrient supplements, 71% of those taking antihistamines and 33% of those taking antiulcer drugs had self-prescribed them. Conclusion: A considerable proportion of the sample used medications by age 32, and there was considerable change between 26 and 32. The changes are likely to have been due to a mix of ageing and period effects.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Pharmacy Practice Research Group
ID Code:70997
Publisher:Wiley

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