Are older women likely to use medicines than older men? (Results from AHAP study).

  • 1Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.
    2Infectious Diseases Research Center, Babol University if Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.
    3Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.

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Background: The health of elderly population in the world has been an important issue in recent century and the use of appropriate or inappropriate medications is challenging among them. The purpose of this study was to assess the pattern of medication in elderly population in Amirkola, northern of Iran.

Methods: This study was conducted on 1534 elderly subjects who participated in Amirkola Health and Ageing Project (AHAP) in 2013. The number of drugs that was used regardless of their indication in terms of age, level of education, disease, cognitive or depression and social support were recorded and compared in both sexes.

Results: The mean number of drugs used in men and women was 2.1±2.45 and 3.59±2.75, respectively (P=0.000). Concurrent use of > 4 drugs was seen in 16.5% of men and in 35.12% of women (P=0.000). The difference for using the number of drugs was significant between sexes with low educational level, but was similar in educated individuals. The use of polypharmacy was associated with the number of concurrent diseases (r=0.58, P=000), cognitive status (r=0.065, P=0.012), social support (r=-0.1, P=0.008), and depression (r=0.273, P=0.000).

Conclusion: The results show that the use of polypharmacy in the elderly population in Amirkola is relatively high and they need to be educated. Considering the other indices, this problem highly manifested more in the elderly women.

Key Words: Drug, Elderly, Sex, Self medication, Disease