Navigation Links
Racial differences in medication use

Older adults experience a number of medication-related problems, including under treatment, suboptimal drugs, suboptimal dosing, and non-adherence, which can have negative effects on their quality of life. Now new research (1), from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that blacks have more medication-related problems than whites, and non-adherence to medical regimens is a particular issue for this group. Dr. Mary Roth and colleagues' study of the racial disparities in the quality of medication use appears this week in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (2), published by Springer.

Older adults are likely to have a number of co-existing chronic diseases, visit more than one doctor, and use multiple drugs, which puts them at greater risk of developing medication-related problems. As a consequence, their health status and quality of life can be compromised. For the first time, Dr. Roth and her team's paper looks at the overall quality of medication use in individuals rather than focusing on certain medication-related problems or diseases. Their work also assesses the effect of race on the overall quality of medication use, another new dimension.

A total of 200 (100 white and 100 black) adults 60 years of age and older were recruited through the Department of Aging and two senior housing complexes in North Carolina. They were interviewed three times in their own homes, once at the start of the study, after six months and a year. Roth and colleagues measured quality of medication use in two ways: a clinical pharmacist's judgment and using Assessing Care of Vulnerable Elders quality indicators. This paper presents findings from the pharmacist assessment of quality only.

The researchers found that, on the whole, whites used more medications than blacks, had a greater number of chronic medical conditions and used more physicians. Nearly a third of blacks (28 percent) could not purchase their medication due to cost compared with only 12 percent of whites. Whites (58 percent) were more likely to have adequate health literacy skills than blacks (29 percent).

Each participant had at least one medication-related problem. The most common problems for both whites and blacks were under treatment (83 percent vs. 87 percent), suboptimal drug use (59 percent vs. 66 percent), suboptimal dosing (48 percent vs. 56 percent) and non-adherence (42 percent vs. 68 percent). The difference between whites and blacks was particularly noteworthy for non-adherence to medications, with smaller differences noted for inadequate medication monitoring. Interestingly, although blacks were prescribed fewer medications than whites, they had significantly more problems than whites. The authors note that this study supports previous findings that elderly blacks have higher rates of nonadherence to medications than whites, but beyond this, suggests that medication-related problems, in general, are prevalent and persist in both races.

The authors conclude: "Strategies to better measure the quality of medication use in older adults are needed, and efforts to improve the quality of medication use in older adults must account for potential differences in both the number and types of problems affecting whites and blacks."


Contact: Joan Robinson

Related medicine news :

1. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
2. Can racial health disparities be effectively reduced?
3. Racial and ethnic differences in colorectal cancer emphasize importance of screening
4. No racial differences seen in outcomes after liver transplantation
5. Genetic differences point to ethnic and racial disparities in colorectal cancer risk
6. Racial and ethnic differences in the biology of breast cancer tumors
7. Use of opioids for pain in ERs on the rise, but racial differences in use still exist
8. Racial disparities persist in cancer care
9. Despite efforts, significant racial disparities in cancer therapy still exist
10. March of Dimes Works to Eliminate Racial Gaps in Infant Health
11. National Business Group on Health to Hold Press Conference to Announce Partnership to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... , ... In an age where the cost of energy is rising, ... than in 2009. The Williamsport Regional Medical Center (WRMC) campus has grown 50 percent ... percent. , According to Facilities Management Administrative Director Dieter Reichmann, this is the ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... LOUIS and CHENNAI, India (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... development of advanced camera solutions, today announced See3CAM_CU40, the industry’s first RGB-IR ... MIPI CSI-2 module. See3CAM_CU40, a new member of e-con’s See3CAM family of UVC USB ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 ... ... published an in-depth review of Anik Singal's newly launched "Publish Academy" training ... a digital publishing business opened for enrollment today, and marketers around the Internet ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... that targets the unique health needs of new moms. Postnatal Omega-3, which ... ( ), utilizes Nordic Naturals’ exclusive, new, ultra-concentrated omega-3 oil. This ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... of telemedicine programs in communities throughout Georgia, along with affiliate organizations, Alabama Partnership ... for their regional telehealth summits for Fall 2015. , Each of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... 2015  Measurement in accountable care programs is ... incentives, but gaps in measurement can result in ... systems. A new, peer-reviewed study published in ... explores measurement gaps for high-priority conditions and ... --> --> "These gaps ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... -- ) has announced ... markets for Meniscal Repair - 16 Countries (2010-2021)" ... ) has announced the addition of the ... - 16 Countries (2010-2021)" report to their ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015   Vigilant Biosciences, ... solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention ... awarded Vigilant,s founder and CEO, Matthew H.J. Kim ... Award, which recognizes an entrepreneur who has made extraordinary ... life sciences industry in the leadership of a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: