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CDC: Prescription Drug Use in U.S. Has Increased

Use of at least one drug up from 44 to 48 percent; those taking five or more up from 6 to 11 percent

THURSDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In the last decade, prescription drug use in the United States has increased, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report revealed that the percentage of individuals using at least one prescription drug in the last month increased from 44 percent in 1999 to 2000 to 48 percent in 2007 to 2008, and the percentage of those using two or more prescription drugs increased from 25 to 31 percent. The percentage of individuals using five or more prescription drugs also increased -- from 6 to 11 percent.

According to the report, one of every five children in 2007 to 2008 had used at least one prescription drug in the last month, compared with nine of every 10 older adults (60 years of age and older). Women were more likely to use prescription drugs than men. Less prescription drug use occurred among individuals without a regular place for health care, health insurance, or prescription drug benefit. Asthma medicines for children, central nervous system stimulants for adolescents, antidepressants for middle-aged adults, and cholesterol-lowering and hypertension drugs for older adults were the types of drugs most commonly used.

"As new drugs are introduced and new uses for old drugs are found, more patients can have improved health and quality of life with the appropriate use of prescription drugs," the authors write.

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