Almost Half of Americans Take At Least One Prescribed Drug: CDC

Nearly half of Americans stated they took at least one prescription medication during the past 30 days, and 10% took at least five, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) annual report on the nation’s health. Among adults, the most common prescriptions are for cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol. The report, titled “Health, United States, 2013," includes the following key findings: • About half of all Americans in 2007-2010 reported taking one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days. Use increased with age; 1 in 4 children took one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days compared to 9 in 10 adults aged 65 and over. • Cardiovascular agents (used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease) and cholesterol-lowering drugs were two of the most commonly used classes of prescription drugs among adults aged 18-64 years and 65 and over in 2007-2010. Nearly 18 percent (17.7) of adults aged 18-64 took at least one cardiovascular agent in the past 30 days. • The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs among those aged 18-64 has increased more than six-fold since 1988-1994, due in part to the introduction and acceptance of statin drugs to lower cholesterol. • Other commonly used prescription drugs among adults aged 18-64 years were analgesics to relieve pain and antidepressants. • The prescribing of antibiotics during medical visits for cold symptoms declined 39 percent between 1995-1996 and 2009-2010. • Among adults aged 65 and over, 70.2 percent took at least one cardiovascular agent and 46.7 percent took a cholesterol-lowering drug in the past 30 days in 2007-2010. The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs in this age group has increased more than seven-fold since 1988-1994. • Other commonly used prescription drugs among those aged 65 and older included analgesics, blood thinners and diabetes medications. • In 2012, adults aged 18-64 years who were uninsured for all or part of the past year were more than four times as likely to report not getting needed prescription drugs due to cost as adults who were insured for the whole year (22.4 percent compared to 5.0 percent). • Drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics among those aged 15 and over more than tripled in the past decade, from 1.9 deaths per 100,000 population in 1999-2000 to 6.6 in 2009-2010.
http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0514-prescription-drugs.html