the number of centenarians increases rapidly. Yet, little is known about their health and use of medications.
to investigate pharmacological drug use in community-dwelling and institutionalised centenarians compared with nonagenarians and octogenarians.
we analysed data on dispensed drugs for centenarians (n = 1,672), nonagenarians (n = 76,584) and octogenarians (n = 383,878) from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register, record-linked to the Swedish Social Services Register. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to analyse whether age was associated with use of drugs, after adjustment for sex, living situation and co-morbidity.
in the adjusted analysis, centenarians were more likely to use analgesics, hypnotics/sedatives and anxiolytics, but less likely to use antidepressants than nonagenarians and octogenarians. Moreover, centenarians were more likely to use high-ceiling diuretics, but less likely to use beta-blockers and ACE-inhibitors.
centenarians high use of analgesics, hypnotics/sedatives and anxiolytics either reflects a palliative approach to drug treatment in centenarians or that pain and mental health problems increase into extreme old age. Also, centenarians do not seem to be prescribed cardiovascular drug therapy according to guidelines to the same extent as nonagenarians and octogenarians. Whether this reflects an age or cohort effect should be evaluated in longitudinal studies.