Polypharmacy in community-based older adults: results of the Fibra study
Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia
Objectives : To estimate the prevalence of polypharmacy among older adults (≥65 years); to verify its association with sociodemographic variables, nutritional status and health conditions; to describe the prevalence of polypharmacy according to the presence of specific chronic diseases, and to report the method of acquiring drugs. Method : A cross-sectional study was performed with older adults (n=2,217) from seven Brazilian municipal regions. The prevalence of polypharmacy and its 95%
... e intervals were estimated. Associations were verified using Pearson's Chi-squared test with a significance level of 5%, and the independent associations between the selected variables and polypharmacy were verified by multiple hierarchical Poisson regression. Results : The prevalence of polypharmacy was 18.4% (CI95%:16.8-20.0), and was significantly lower among non-white individuals, those who did not have a health plan, and those who assessed their health as very good/good (p<0.05). Obesity: (PR=1.36; CI95%:1.06-1.75), increased waist circumference (PR=1.54; CI95%:1.08-2.20) and presence of two (PR=2.24; CI95%:1.52-3.31) or three or more (PR=4.22; CI95%:2.96-6.02) chronic diseases were positively associated with polypharmacy. Polypharmacy was observed in about 30.0% of older adults with heart disease, diabetes mellitus and/or strokes/CVA/ischemia. The frequency of older adults who acquired drugs in Basic Health Units was 20.3% and those who obtained them via their own/family resources was 13.5%. Conclusion : Among older adults, the identification of segments with a higher prevalence of polypharmacy enables a better structuring of the provision of treatment during their care pathway, allowing special attention to be paid to problems related to the use of drugs.