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Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase - NCHS Data Brief

Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase - NCHS Data Brief

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05/17/2012

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NCHS Data Brief 
No. 42
September 2010
u.s. department of health and human services
c  d c  p
n c  h s
Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase:
 
U.S. Prescription Drug Data for 2007–2008
Qg G, m.d., p.d.; c f. d, m.d., p.d.;  vk l. B, s.m., r.n.
Key ndings
Over the last 10 ears, the
•
 percentage of Americans whotook at least one prescriptiondrug in the past monthincreased from 44% to 48%.The use of two or more drugsincreased from 25% to 31%.
Theuseofveormoredrugs
increased from 6% to 11%.In 2007–2008, 1 out of ever
•
5 children and 9 out of 10 older Americans reported using atleast one prescription drug inthe past month.Those who were without
•
a regular place for healthcare, health insurance, or 
 prescriptiondrugbenethad
less prescription drug usecompared with those who had
thesebenets.
The most commonl used
•
tpes of drugs included: asthmamedicines for children, centralnervous sstem stimulants for adolescents, antidepressantsfor middle-aged adults, andcholesterol lowering drugs for older Americans.In the United States, spending for prescription drugs was $234.1 billionin 2008, which was more than double what was spent in 1999(1). As new drugs are introduced and new uses for old drugs are found, more patientscan have improved health and qualit of life with the appropriate use of  prescription drugs. Current prescription drug use patterns need to be better understood. This report provides an overview of current prescription drug usein the United States, how man and what kinds of drugs are currentl being prescribed, and who receives them.
 Keywords: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) •medication • prevalence • trends
What are the trends in prescription drug use in the UnitedStates over the past 10 years?
Prescription drug use in the United States increased from 1999–2000 through2007–2008 (Figure 1).
0102030405043.525.46.346.228.68.347.631.110.246.830.910.1
1
48.3
1
31.2
1
10.7Use of 5 or more drugsUse of 2 or more drugsUse of 1 or more drugs2007–20082005–20062003–20042001–20021999–2000
1
Significant linear trend from 1999–2000 through 2007–2008.NOTE: Age adjusted by direct method to the year 2000 projected U.S. population.SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Figure 1. Trends in the percentage of persons using prescription drugs: United States, 1999–2008
Year
      P     e     r     c     e     n      t
 
NCHS Data Brief 
No. 42
September 2010
2
The percentage of Americans who used at least one prescription drug in the past month
•
increased from 44% in 1999–2000 to 48% in 2007–2008.The percentage of persons who used two or more prescription drugs increased from 25% in
•
1999–2000 to 31% in 2007–2008.
Thepercentageofpersonswhousedveormoreprescriptiondrugsincreasedfrom6%in•
1999–2000 to 11% in 2007–2008.
What percentage of Americans used multiple prescription drugs in the pastmonth and how did this vary by age?
The use of multiple prescription drugs in the past month varied b age(Figure 2). Among children (under age 12), less than 10% used two or more prescription drugs in the
• pastmonthandonly1%usedveormore.
Among older Americans (aged 60 and over), more than 76% used two or more prescription
•drugsand37%usedveormore.
1
Estimate is unstable; the relative standard error is greater than 30%.SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Figure 2. Percentage of prescription drugs used in the past month, by age: United States, 2007–2008010203014.14.62.70.9
1
0.96.94.89.47.917.319.611.412.012.427.336.74060 and over 20–5912–19 Age in years0–11
      P     e     r     c     e     n      t
1 drug2 drugs34 drugs5 or more drugs
 
NCHS Data Brief 
No. 42
September 2010
3
Did prescription drug use vary among demographic subgroups?
There were differences in prescription drug use b age, sex, and race and ethnicit (Figure 3). Prescription drug use increased with age.
•
Women were more likel to use prescription drugs than men.
•
The non-Hispanic white population had the highest prescription drug use and the Mexican-
•
American population had the lowest.
1
Significant linear trend over age.
2
Significantly different from men.
3
Significantly different from Non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American persons.
4
Significantly different from Mexican-American persons.
5
 Age adjusted by direct method to the year 2000 projected U.S. population.SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Figure 3. Percentage of use of at least one prescription drug, by age, sex, and race and ethnicity: United States, 2007–2008
      P     e     r     c     e     n      t
02040608010060 andover 20–5912–19011Men22.429.948.3
1
88.443.2
2
53.3
3
54.3
4
42.033.9WomenSex
5
WhiteBlackMexican AmericanRace and ethnicity
5
Non-Hispanic Age in years

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