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Self-reported medication side effects in an older cohort living independently in the community - the Melbourne Longitudinal Study on Health Ageing (MELSHA) : cross-sectional analysis of prevalence and risk factors

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Version 1 2014-10-28, 09:44
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-17, 08:01 authored by J Thomson, W Wang, C Browning, H Kendig
Background Medication side effects are an important cause of morbidity, mortality and costs in older people. The aim of our study was to examine prevalence and risk factors for self-reported medication side effects in an older cohort living independently in the community.

Methods The Melbourne Longitudinal Study on Healthy Ageing (MELSHA), collected information on those aged 65 years or older living independently in the community and commenced in 1994. Data on medication side effects was collected from the baseline cohort (n = 1000) in face-to-face baseline interviews in 1994 and analysed as cross-sectional data. Risk factors examined were: socio-demographics, health status and medical conditions; medication use and health service factors. Analysis included univariate logistic regression to estimate unadjusted risk and multivariate logistic regression analysis to assess confounding and estimate adjusted risk.

Results Self-reported medication side effects were reported by approximately 6.7% (67/1000) of the entire baseline MELSHA cohort, and by 8.5% (65/761) of those on medication. Identified risk factors were increased education level, co-morbidities and health service factors including recency of visiting the pharmacist, attending younger doctors, and their doctor's awareness of their medications. The greatest increase in risk for medication side effects was associated with liver problems and their doctor's awareness of their medications. Aging and gender were not risk factors.

Conclusion Prevalence of self-reported medication side effects was comparable with that reported in adults attending General Practices in a primary care setting in Australia. The prevalence and identified risk factors provide further insight and opportunity to develop strategies to address the problem of medication side effects in older people living independently in the community setting.

History

Journal

BMC geriatrics

Volume

10

Article number

37

Pagination

1-11

Location

London, England

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

1471-2318

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, Thomson et al.

Publisher

BioMed Central

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