Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Racial differences in medication use

Date:
December 14, 2009
Source:
Springer
Summary:
Older adults experience 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 shows that blacks have more medication-related problems than whites, and non-adherence to medical regimens is a particular issue for this group.

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 research1, 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, 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."

Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging (Principal Investigator (MTR): Research and Career Development Award). The study was also supported by an American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Frontiers Fund Research and Career Development Award.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Roth et al. Racial Disparities in the Quality of Medication Use in Older Adults: Baseline Findings from a Longitudinal Study. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2009; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-009-1180-9

Cite This Page:

Springer. "Racial differences in medication use." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091214121447.htm>.
Springer. (2009, December 14). Racial differences in medication use. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091214121447.htm
Springer. "Racial differences in medication use." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091214121447.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins