To describe medication use among older community-dwelling Icelanders by collecting information on number of medicine, polypharmacy (>5 medications), and medications by ATC categories. Moreover, to explore the relationship between medication use and various influential factors emphasizing residency in urban and rural areas.
Population-based, cross-sectional study. Participants were randomly selected from the National registry in one urban (n=118) and two rural (n=68) areas.
1) = 65 years old, 2) community-dwelling, 3) able to communicate verbally. Information on medication use was obtained from each person's medication list and interviews. A questionnaire and five standardized instruments were used to assess the potential influencing factors.
On average, participants used 3.9 medications and prevalence of polypharmacy was 41%. Men used 3.5 medications on average and women 4.4 (p=0.018). Compared to rural residents, urban residents had fewer medical diagnoses, better mobility, less pain, and fewer depressive symptoms. By controlling for the effects of these variables, more medications were associated with urban living (p
To study how selected indicators of socioeconomic status and urban-rural residency associate with medication use in form of number of daily medications, polypharmacy, and medication use according to Anatomic Therapeutic Classification (ATC) system.
Cross-sectional, population-based study among older community-dwelling Icelanders. Criteria for participation were: age =65 years, community-dwelling, and able to communicate verbally and to set up a time for a face-to-face interview. Information on medication use was obtained by interviews and by examining each person's medication record. Medications were categorised according to ATC system. A questionnaire and the physical and mental health summary scales of SF-36 Health Survey were used to assess potential influential factors associated with medication use.
On average, participants (n=186) used 3.9 medications, and the prevalence of polypharmacy was 41%. No indicators of socioeconomic status had significant association to any aspects of medication use. Compared to urban residents, rural residents had more diagnosed diseases, were less likely to live alone, were less likely to report having adequate income, and had fewer years of education. Controlling for these differences, urban people were more likely to use medication from the B and C categories. Moreover, older urban men, with worse physical health, and greater number of diagnosed diseases used more medications from the B category.
There are unexplained regional differences in medications use, from categories B and C, by older Icelanders. Further studies are needed on why urban residents used equal number of medications, or even more medications, compared to rural residents, despite better socioeconomic status and fewer diagnosed diseases.