Tags: elderly | women | overprescribed | drugs

Elderly Women More Likely to Be Overprescribed Drugs

Elderly Women More Likely to Be Overprescribed Drugs
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Friday, 06 May 2016 12:11 PM


Elderly women are likely to receive prescription medications that are unneeded or inappropriate, says a University of British Columbia study. One in three women over the age of 65 are likely to be prescribed unnecessary drugs along with one in four men of the same age.

"The effect of a patient's sex on the risk of inappropriate prescribing is of tremendous clinical and social concern," said principle investigator Steve Morgan.

Morgan and his colleagues analyzed population-based health-care data sets of more than 660,000 seniors to find out which medical and non-medical factors influenced a patient's risk of getting prescriptions for drugs on the American Geriatrics Society's list of drugs that should be avoided for older patients. The biggest non-medical risk factor was an individual's sex.

Researchers found that even when results were adjusted for all other risk factors, women were as much as 23 per cent more likely than men to be prescribed inappropriate drugs.

The elderly are at risk for taking too many drugs for several reasons. One is the sheer number of drugs they take on a regular basis. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, almost three in 10 people between the ages of 57 and 85 take at least five prescription drugs.

The elderly are also more likely to become dependent on drugs. Physical problems such as joint pain, sleeping problems, and depression make them more likely to become dependent on drugs.

"Being a woman is double jeopardy when it comes to taking medications," said Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Institute of Gender and Health.

"Women metabolize drugs differently than men. Gender roles and social circumstances also place them at risk," she said. "However, I expect that by empowering women with knowledge about the harms of sleeping pills and other medications, we can help drive decisions to try switching to safer therapies."

The study was published in Age and Ageing.

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Elderly women are likely to receive prescription medications that are unneeded or inappropriate, says a University of British Columbia study. One in three women over the age of 65 are likely to be prescribed unnecessary drugs along with one in four men of the same age. The...
elderly, women, overprescribed, drugs
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2016-11-06
Friday, 06 May 2016 12:11 PM
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