Data collected through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed nearly half of Americans swallowed at least one prescription drug per month in 2007-2008, a 10 percent increase over 1999-2000 figures. The number of those taking multiple prescription drugs rose 20 percent and the use of five or more drugs jumped 70 %.
The survey (link to .pdf) also found:
- One out of every five children used at least one or more prescription drugs, compared with 9 out of every 10 adults aged 60 and over.
- Women were more likely to use prescription drugs than were men.
- The most commonly used types of drugs included: asthma medicines for children, central nervous system stimulants for adolescents, antidepressants for middle-aged adults, and cholesterol lowering drugs for older Americans.
By Lia Steakley
Also on Stanford Knowledgebase: