Rx Nation: CDC Says Half Of American Adults Take Prescription Pills

(CDC)

(CDC)

Americans pop pills more than most other nations. We knew that. But the numbers are still striking: roughly a full half of Americans, when surveyed, had taken a prescription drug in the last 30 days. (And the concerns those numbers raise are manifold, including the report this week that 1 in 5 meds are prescribed off-label.)

Our prescription drug use is up sharply over the last couple of decades, whether you’re young or old. If you’re over 65 and not taking any pills, you’re quite an outlier, in a lonely 10 percent (see the chart at the bottom of this post.) Maybe our headline should have been “Statin Nation.”

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics has just released its report on the nation’s health in 2013, including a special feature on prescription drug use. From its press release, and “What’s New!” section here:

· About half of all Americans in 2007-2010 reported taking one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days. Use increased with age; 1 in 4 children took one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days compared to 9 in 10 adults aged 65 and over.

· Cardiovascular agents (used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease) and cholesterol-lowering drugs were two of the most commonly used classes of prescription drugs among adults aged 18-64 years and 65 and over in 2007-2010. Nearly 18 percent (17.7) of adults aged 18-64 took at least one cardiovascular agent in the past 30 days.

· The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs among those aged 18-64 has increased more than six-fold since 1988-1994, due in part to the introduction and acceptance of statin drugs to lower cholesterol.

· Among adults aged 65 and over, 70.2 percent took at least one cardiovascular agent and 46.7 percent took a cholesterol-lowering drug in the past 30 days in 2007-2010. The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs in this age group has increased more than seven-fold since 1988-1994.

Some good news in the fight against antibiotic resistance:

· The prescribing of antibiotics during medical visits for cold symptoms declined 39 percent between 1995-1996 and 2009-2010.

And good news on costs (sort of):

· The annual growth in spending on retail prescription drugs slowed from 14.7 percent in 2001 to 2.9 percent in 2011.

Also of note: a continued rise in antidepressant use:

· The use of antidepressants among adults aged 18 and over increased more than four-fold, from 2.4 percent to 10.8 percent between 1988-1994 and 2007-2010.

Readers, anything else strike you most in the report?

Screen shot 2014-05-14 at 9.01.20 AM

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://www.military.com/spouse/military-deployment/reintegration/returning-to-home-life-after-deployment.html amazing testimony

    How To Stop A Divorce And Save Your Marriage?(Dr.Brave).

    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in TEXAS,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website http://bravespellcaster.yolasite.com ,i f you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com} , Thanks..

  • Lee

    to answer the last question about what is striking – look at the number of 65+ people who are on an Rx – almost 90% and many of them are taking more than 5 prescriptions. This suggests a high rate of co morbid conditions and also increases the risk for drug-drug interactions and other unintended consequences of taking many products at the same time – not to mention the costs of the products and the costs associated with treating people with this high level of disease. One also wonders how many of the 10% who are not on drugs are not taking them because they refuse treatment or are not taking them for reasons such as not being able to afford them.

  • Cabanator

    I don’t think these data tell you much without knowing which drugs people are actually taking. Birth control would be the big one that I think needs to be spelled out. Many women of childbearing age take birth control on a daily basis, not to treat a disease, but to prevent pregnancy (of course some women take it to help with difficult periods and that sort of thing as well). By contrast, in other parts of the world, IUD’s are used much more regularly than birth control pills, so this would skew Americans toward taking more drugs than in other countries because of the huge number of women taking birth control pills in the U.S. The point is, we would really need more details in order to draw any conclusions from this report.

    • Lee

      Good points but this data can be matched up with prevalence of disease and one knows that most common diseases in the more advanced ages are Diabetes, COPD, Asthma, congestive heart failure, hyperlipidemia, etc. So the birth control dilemma pointed out here is only applicable to half the population up to a certain point. That being said, this table on drug usage is taken out of context and one can only draw generalized conclusions from it without seeing the entire report to put more context behind it. One conclusion that can be made is rx drug use increases over time and that more people are taking many more products than they ever used to. In spite of that we know that chronic disease is on the rise – many of those chronic diseases have several Rx treatment options. So, in spite of the availability of treatments and awareness of how to prevent chronic diseases – it is still on the rise.

  • Mango Momma

    Interesting data point, but not useful without analysis. The real question is whether or not there is an improvement in overall health that can be demonstrated to be caused by ingestion of drugs, not just coincidental with taking more meds.

    • http://www.military.com/spouse/military-deployment/reintegration/returning-to-home-life-after-deployment.html amazing testimony

      An amazing testimony on a spell caster who brought my wife back to me,my name is William David,i live in Maryland/USA,and I’m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife.so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce.she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she didn’t love me anymore.So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again.So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife.So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com}So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who didn’t call me for the past seven {3}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster.So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit this great man called Dr.Brave,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to the bravespellcaster@gmail.com for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again. {bravespellcaster@gmail.com} Thanks…