A population-based study on use of medication by the elderly in Greater Metropolitan Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Antônio I. de Loyola Filho Elizabeth Uchoa Maria Fernanda Lima-Costa About the authors

The aim of this study was to investigate the use of medication and associated factors (sociodemographics, health conditions, and health services use) in a representative sample of 1,598 elderly individuals (60+ years) in Greater Metropolitan Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. The dependent variable was the number of drugs used in the preceding two weeks. Prevalence of medication was 72.1%, and mean consumption was 2.18 drugs, most of which acting on the cardiovascular system. Use of medication (any amount) was independently associated with gender (female), age (80+ years), having consulted a physician, and presence of any chronic health condition. Use of five or more drugs was significantly associated with schooling (8+ years, OR=2.28), worse self-rated health (fair, OR = 5.45; bad/very bad, OR = 5.35). The results show that the types of medications used and factors associated with consumption were similar to those observed in other populations, suggesting some uniformity among various populations in the use of medication and its determinants.

Drug Utilization; Aged; Pharmacoepidemiology

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