Patterns of prescription drug utilization in elder Mexican Americans: results from the Hispanic EPESE Study. Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly

Espino, D.V.; Palmer, R.F.; Mouton, C.P.; Miles, T.P.; Bayne, N.S.; Markides, K.S.

Ethnicity and Disease 10(2): 218-223


ISSN/ISBN: 1049-510X
PMID: 10892828
Accession: 046936419

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The objective of this study was to determine the patterns of prescription medication usage among community-dwelling Mexican-American elders. This was a cross-sectional survey of a regional probability sample of 2,895 community-dwelling Mexican Americans, aged 65 and over. Of the sample, 58.1% used at least one prescribed medication within the two weeks prior to their participation in the study. Women were significantly more likely than men to use analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, prescription nutritional supplements, and other central nervous system and endocrine medications. Subjects aged 75 and over were more likely to use cardiovascular medications, nutritional supplements, ophthalmic preparations and antihistamines, while those in the age groups 65-69 and 70-74 were more likely to use hypoglycemic and endocrine medications. Interestingly, there was a significantly decreased usage of hypoglycemic medications in the older age group (aged 75 and over) as compared with the younger age groups (65-69 and 69-74). This may indicate that Mexican American elders are dying at younger ages from complications related to diabetes mellitus and are not alive to use hypoglycemic medications at ages 75 and over. Also, men used more hypoglycemic medication than women (77% vs 70%). There was no relationship between use of medication and severity of diabetic illness.