More people are taking prescription drugs than ever before! Drugs are used by:
- Almost two-thirds of women 20 and older
- One in four children and teenagers
- 52 percent of adult men
- Three out of four people 65 or older
In addition, there has been increased medication use for chronic problems in all demographic groups. Among seniors, 28 percent of women and nearly 22 percent of men take five or more medications regularly.
Heart disease and diabetes are the most frequent reasons for taking meds, with obesity being a common etiologic factor for these disease states. The drugs that are used most frequently are those that treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The largest gains, in chronic medication use, were in the 20 to 44-year-old age group, where drug use rose 20 percent over the last six years. This was mainly due to more use of drugs for depression, diabetes, asthma, attention deficit disorder and seizure disorders.