Study Reveals Rise in U.S. Prescription Drug Use

The Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that the prevalence of prescription drug use among people 20 and older had risen to 59 percent in 2012 from 51 percent just a dozen years earlier. During the same period, the percentage of people taking five or more prescription drugs nearly doubled, to 15 percent from 8 percent. Researchers noted that eight of the 10 most commonly used drugs in the United States are for hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and other elements of the “cardiometabolic syndrome.” In addition, another frequently prescribed drug treats gastroesophageal reflux, a widespread condition among the overweight or obese. Nearly three in five American adults take a prescription drug daily, up markedly since 2000, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers found the prevalence of prescription drug use among people 20 and older rose to 59% in 2012. During that time, people taking five or more prescription drugs nearly doubled, to 15% from 8%.
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