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  • 1.
    Brännström, Jon
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine.
    Hamberg, Katarina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Molander, Lena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine.
    Lövheim, Hugo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine.
    Gustafson, Yngve
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine.
    Gender disparities in the pharmacological treatment of cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus in the very old: an epidemiological, cross-sectional survey2011In: Drugs & Aging, ISSN 1170-229X, E-ISSN 1179-1969, Vol. 28, no 12, p. 993-1005Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: There are many reports of disparities in health and medical care both between women and men and between various age groups. In most cases, men receive better treatment than women and young and middle-aged people are privileged compared with the old and the very old. Cardiovascular morbidity and diabetes mellitus are common, increase with age and are often treated extensively with drugs, many of which are known to have significant adverse effects.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to analyse gender differences in the pharmacological treatment of cardiovascular disease and diabetes among very old people.

    METHODS: The study took the form of an epidemiological, cross-sectional survey. A structured interview was administered during one or more home visits, and data were further retrieved from medical charts and interviews with relatives, healthcare staff and other carers. Home-dwelling people as well as people living in institutional care in six municipalities in the county of Västerbotten, Sweden, in 2005-7 were included in the study. Half of all people aged 85 years, all of those aged 90 years and all of those aged ≥95 years living in the selected municipalities were selected for inclusion in the study. In total, 467 people were included in the present analysis. The main study outcome measures were medical diagnoses and drug use.

    RESULTS: In total, women were prescribed a larger number of drugs than men (mean 7.2 vs 5.4, p < 0.001). Multiple logistic regression models adjusted for age and other background variables as well as relevant medical diagnoses (hypertension, heart failure) showed strong associations between female sex and prescriptions of thiazide diuretics (odds ratio [OR] 4.4; 95% CI 1.8, 10.8; p = 0.001), potassium-sparing diuretics (OR 3.5; 95% CI 1.4, 8.7; p = 0.006) and diuretics as a whole (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.1, 2.9; p = 0.021). A similar model, adjusted for angina pectoris, showed that female sex was associated with prescription of short-acting nitroglycerin (OR 3.7; 95% CI 1.6, 8.9; p = 0.003). However, more men had been offered coronary artery surgery (p = 0.001). Of the participants diagnosed with diabetes, 55% of the women and 85% of the men used oral antihyperglycaemic drugs (p = 0.020), whereas no gender difference was seen in prescriptions of insulin.

    CONCLUSIONS: Significant gender disparities in the prescription of several drugs, such as diuretics, nitroglycerin and oral antihyperglycaemic drugs, were observed in this study of very old people. In most cases, women were prescribed more drugs than men. Men more often had undergone coronary artery surgery. These disparities could only in part be explained by differences in diagnoses and symptoms.

  • 2.
    Gustafsson, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
    Lövheim, Hugo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Sjölander, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
    Pharmacological Pain Treatment in 2012 and 2017 Among Older People with Major Neurocognitive Disorder2021In: Drugs & Aging, ISSN 1170-229X, E-ISSN 1179-1969, Vol. 38, p. 1017-1023Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background and Objective: Pain is highly prevalent among older people, and treatment is complicated because of comorbidities and polypharmacy. Among people with major neurocognitive disorder additional difficulties might arise. The aim of this study was to describe analgesic drug use in 2012 and 2017 and associated factors among older people with major neurocognitive disorder.

    Methods: In this register-based study, the Swedish Dementia Registry and the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register were combined in order to obtain data regarding analgesic drug use among older people with major neurocognitive disorder. One or more filled prescriptions during the timeframe of 6 months (1 July–31 December 2012 and 1 July–31 December 2017) defined drug use during the respective period. A comparison between 2012 and 2017 was made, including a total of 56,101 people (20,889 and 35,212 respectively) with a mean age of 81.9 and 82.7 years, respectively.

    Results: The overall use of analgesic drugs increased significantly from 41.6% of individuals to 46.0% between the years 2012 and 2017. Users of opioid analgesics (15.2% vs 17.3%) and paracetamol (37.0% vs 42.3%) increased, while the users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (4.9% vs 2.7%) declined between the two data collections. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed for different drugs and drug classes, and it was found that the use of opioids and paracetamol was associated with older age and a longer time since diagnosis. In contrast, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were associated with younger age and a shorter time since diagnosis.

    Conclusions: The results indicate that on a population level, pharmacological drug treatment has changed in line with guidelines between 2012 and 2017, with an increase in paracetamol and strong opioids and a decrease in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and tramadol. The relatively high prevalence of opioids warrants concern given the significant risk of adverse effects among older people with major neurocognitive disorder.

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  • 3.
    Lindén, Christina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Ophthalmology.
    Alm, Albert
    Oftalmiatrik, Uppsala universitet.
    Prostaglandin analogues in the treatment of glaucoma1999In: Drugs & Aging, ISSN 1170-229X, E-ISSN 1179-1969, Vol. 14, no 5, p. 387-398Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Prostaglandin (PG) analogues are a new class of ocular hypotensive drugs that have been developed for the treatment of open angle glaucoma. Two of these drugs, latanoprost and unoprostone, are presently commercially available. Latanoprost was introduced in 1996 in the US and Europe. Presently it enjoys the most widespread use and is the most well documented drug of this group. It reduces the intraocular pressure (IOP) by a mechanism of action different from other drugs; namely by increasing the uveoscleral outflow. The aqueous inflow is not affected. The optimal dose regimen is one drop of 50 microg/ml once daily, which reduces the IOP by approximately 30% in patients with glaucoma. A more pronounced ocular hypotensive effect is demonstrated when latanoprost is combined with other glaucoma therapies, including beta-blockers, adrenergic and cholinergic agonists or carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Latanoprost is well tolerated. The drug reaches a plasma concentration below that needed for stimulation of the FP-receptor, which may explain its favourable systemic tolerability profile. The major ocular adverse effect is increased iris pigmentation, which is due to increased synthesis of melanin in the melanocytes of the iris stroma. It is most frequently seen in green-brown eyes and it is probably permanent. A low frequency of cystoid macular oedema has also been reported, predominantly in predisposed eyes. Unoprostone was launched in Japan in 1994, but there is little experience with this drug outside the Japanese market and the documentation is more limited. Its main mechanism of action is on outflow, but this is not yet fully elucidated. The recommended dosage regimen is 1 drop of 1.2 mg/ml twice daily. No comparative studies in humans between the 2 drugs have yet been published.

  • 4. Seppala, L. J.
    et al.
    van der Velde, N.
    Masud, T.
    Blain, H.
    Petrovic, M.
    van der Cammen, T. J.
    Szczerbinska, K.
    Hartikainen, S.
    Kenny, R. A.
    Ryg, J.
    Eklund, P.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.
    Topinkova, E.
    Mair, A.
    Laflamme, L.
    Thaler, H.
    Bahat, G.
    Gutierrez-Valencia, M.
    Caballero-Mora, M. A.
    Landi, F.
    Emmelot-Vonk, M. H.
    Cherubini, A.
    Baeyens, J. P.
    Correa-Perez, A.
    Gudmundsson, A.
    Marengoni, A.
    O'Mahony, D.
    Parekh, N.
    Pisa, F. E.
    Rajkumar, C.
    Wehling, M.
    Ziere, G.
    EuGMS Task and Finish group on Fall-Risk-Increasing Drugs (FRIDs): Position on Knowledge Dissemination, Management, and Future Research2019In: Drugs & Aging, ISSN 1170-229X, E-ISSN 1179-1969, Vol. 36, no 4, p. 299-307Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Falls are a major public health concern in the older population, and certain medication classes are a significant risk factor for falls. However, knowledge is lacking among both physicians and older people, including caregivers, concerning the role of medication as a risk factor. In the present statement, the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) Task and Finish group on fall-risk-increasing drugs (FRIDs), in collaboration with the EuGMS Special Interest group on Pharmacology and the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) Geriatric Medicine Section, outlines its position regarding knowledge dissemination on medication-related falls in older people across Europe. The EuGMS Task and Finish group is developing educational materials to facilitate knowledge dissemination for healthcare professionals and older people. In addition, steps in primary prevention through judicious prescribing, deprescribing of FRIDs (withdrawal and dose reduction), and gaps in current research are outlined in this position paper.

  • 5.
    Stewart Williams, Jennifer A
    et al.
    Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, HMRI Building, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia.
    Wallick, Christopher J
    Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, HMRI Building, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia .
    Byles, Julie E
    Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, HMRI Building, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia .
    Doran, Christopher M
    Hunter Medical Research Institute, Hunter Valley Research Foundation, HMRI Building, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW, 2308, Australia .
    Assessing patterns of use of cardio-protective polypill component medicines in Australian women2013In: Drugs & Aging, ISSN 1170-229X, E-ISSN 1179-1969, Vol. 30, no 3, p. 193-203Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: A low-cost 'polypill' could theoretically be one way of improving medication affordability and compliance for secondary prevention of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. The polypill has also been proposed as a primary prevention strategy. Yet many of the issues surrounding the polypill are still being debated and the underlying assumptions have not been proven. In this paper, we step back from the complexities of the debate and report upon the utilization of polypill component medicines in two population cohorts of Australian women who were aged 56-61 years and 81-86 years in 2007.

    OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were firstly, to describe the association between the women's characteristics (health, illness, behavioural, demographic, socioeconomic) and their use of statins and antihypertensive medicines for the treatment of heart disease, and secondly, to discuss possible health and economic benefits for women with these characteristics that may be expected to result from the introduction of a cardio-protective polypill.

    METHODS: Survey records from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH) were linked to 2007 Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) claims for 7,116 mid-aged women and 4,526 older-aged women. Associations between women's characteristics (self-reported in ALSWH surveys) and their use of statins and antihypertensive medicines (measured through PBS claims in 2007) were analysed using Chi-square and multivariate regression techniques.

    RESULTS: Between 2002 and 2007, the use of statins in combination with antihypertensives by mid- and older-aged Australian women increased. A moderate yet increasing proportion of mid-aged women were taking statins without antihypertensives, and a high proportion of older-aged women were using antihypertensives without statins. A high proportion of women who were prescribed both statins and antihypertensives were in lower socioeconomic groups and reported difficulty managing on their incomes.

    CONCLUSION: These results suggest that a polypill may provide an easy-to-take, cheaper alternative for Australian women already taking multiple cardiovascular disease medications, with particular benefits for older women and women in lower socioeconomic groups. Future research is needed to quantify the potential social and economic benefits of the polypill.

  • 6.
    Sönnerstam, Eva
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
    Gustafsson, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine.
    Lövheim, Hugo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM).
    Sjölander, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
    Potentially Inappropriate Medications Pre- and Post-Diagnosis of Major Neurocognitive Disorders Among Older People in Sweden: A Register-Based, 6-Year Longitudinal Study2022In: Drugs & Aging, ISSN 1170-229X, E-ISSN 1179-1969, Vol. 39, no 7, p. 573-585Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate how potentially inappropriate medication usage and anti-dementia drug use change from 3 years prior to, up until 3 years post-diagnosis of major neurocognitive disorders among older people living in Sweden. Methods: People registered in the Swedish registry for cognitive/dementia disorders from 1 July, 2008 to 31 December, 2017, and aged 68 years or older at diagnosis, were included (n = 67,226). Data were combined with the Swedish Prescribed Drug Registry to obtain information about drugs collected in 6-month periods at Swedish pharmacies from 3 years pre-diagnosis until 3 years post-diagnosis. Potentially inappropriate medications were identified according to Swedish national guidelines. A generalised estimating equation regression model and estimated marginal means were used. Results: Of the 67,226 people included in the study population, 59.2% were women and the mean age ± standard deviation was 81.5 ± 6.4 years, 47.0% lived together with a spouse or partner, and 88.9% were living at home at the time of diagnosis. The proportions of people using potentially inappropriate medications continuously decreased pre- and post-diagnosis, except for antipsychotic drug use, which continuously increased both pre- and post-diagnosis. Moreover, anticholinergic drug use increased pre-diagnosis and declined post-diagnosis. When comparing the periods pre- and post-diagnosis date, the adjusted proportion of people using potentially inappropriate medications was significantly lower post-diagnosis compared with pre-diagnosis, except for the adjusted proportion using antipsychotics, which was significantly higher post-diagnosis, 10.6%, compared with the period before, 3.1% (adjusted odds ratio 3.71; 95% confidence interval 3.59–3.83). The adjusted proportion of people using anticholinergic drugs was significantly lower post-diagnosis, 7.2%, compared with the pre-diagnosis period, 8.9% (adjusted odds ratio 0.80; 95% confidence interval 0.78–0.82). Anti-dementia drug use was significantly higher post-diagnosis, 52.6%, when compared with the pre-diagnosis period, 3.5% (adjusted odds ratio 30.13; 95% confidence interval 29.19–31.10). Conclusions: Overall, the prevalence of people using potentially inappropriate medications decreased and was significantly lower post-diagnosis of major neurocognitive disorders, except for antipsychotics. This indicates that potentially inappropriate medication use should be noticed and reviewed among all older people. The small decrease in the prevalence of anticholinergic drug users and the increasing proportions of people using antipsychotic drugs post-diagnosis are of special concern because of the adverse drug reactions associated with these types of potentially inappropriate medications. Consequently, it is important to identify and regularly question anticholinergic and antipsychotic drug treatment to prevent unnecessary and serious adverse drug reactions among a vulnerable group of people.

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