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Based on data from the 2007 to 2009 and 2009 to 2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey, this article provides national information about prescription medication use among community-dwelling Canadians. An estimated 41% of 6- to 79-year-olds who lived in private households reported taking at least one prescription medication in the past two days (current use). Generally, prescription drug use was higher among females and among people in poorer health, and increased with age. Approximately 11% of 45- to 64-year-olds and 30% of seniors aged 65 to 79 took at least five prescription medications s concurrently. For adults aged 25 to 79, the leading prescription medication classes were lipid-lowering agents, ACE-inhibitors, peptic-ulcer and acid-reducers, beta-blockers (men), other analgesics and anti-pyretics (men), anti-depressants (women) and thyroid medication (women). Among children and young adults aged 6 to 24, the leading prescription medications were for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (males), depression, and hormonal contraception (females).
Chronic conditions, drug therapy, polypharmacy
Prescription medications are the second most costly component of health care, accounting for almost 14% ($29 billion) of Canada’s annual health care spending in 2013. This largely reflects pharmacological management of chronic diseases and conditions (for instance, heart disease and high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes4 and depression) and pregnancy prevention. [Full Text]
Michelle Rotermann (firstname.lastname@example.org), Claudia Sanmartin, and Deirdre Hennessy are with the Health Analysis Division at Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6. Michele Arthur is with the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Ottawa, Ontario K2A 4H6.
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