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Racial differences in medication use
Date:12/14/2009

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."


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Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

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