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Chronic Medication Nation: Research Finds Chronic Health Problems Now Afflict More Than Half of All Americans
Date:5/14/2008

t between 2001 and 2007.

Young at Heart

Treatments for high cholesterol and high blood pressure were the top medications used by the general population, with more than one-in-five people on antihypertensives and almost one-in-seven on cholesterol-lowering drugs, according to the research that reviewed prescription claims of some 2.5 million insured Americans. These were also among the top four medications taken by 20-44 year-old men, whose use of cholesterol drugs surged more than 80 percent over a seven year period.

"Younger people are increasingly being treated for heart disease-related conditions such as high cholesterol and hypertension," said Dr. Epstein. "There's no doubt that rising rates of obesity are having a major impact on our health. These chronic conditions are incredibly costly for the nation and will become exponentially so if we're seeing these problems show up at a younger and younger age."

Additional Research Findings

Chronic Medication Use in Children: Nearly 30 percent of children ages 19 and under take a chronic medication; asthma and allergy drugs are most commonly prescribed, followed by medications to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and antidepressants. The number of girls taking ADHD medications rose 72 percent from 2001-2007.

Women Using Less HRTs and More Cholesterol Drugs: Use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women ages 45 to 64 dropped to 15 percent in 2007, half of what it was in 2001 when HRT was the most commonly used medication by this age group; hypertension drugs were the top medication for these women in 2007 and their use of cholesterol-lowering drugs nearly doubled over the seven years.

Seniors on Multiple Medications: Among older Americans ages 65 and up, 28 percent of females and 22 percent of males take five or more chronic medications.

Medco's Prescription for Care

In response to the growing numbers of patients with chronic condition
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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