BACKGROUND: Use of inappropriate medications by the elderly is a public health concern with potentially serious health consequences. Research indicates relatively high rates of inappropriate prescription drug usage for older whites and African Americans. However, rates for older Mexican Americans are unknown. OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence and predictors of inappropriate prescription medication use by older Mexican Americans. METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 3050 Mexican Americans aged ≥65 years living in the southwestern US was conducted. In-home interviews in 1993 and 1994 assessed prescription medication use. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression models were used to estimate prevalence and risk of inappropriate prescription drug use. RESULTS: Approximately 12% (n = 365) of the sample had used at least 1 of 32 potentially inappropriate prescription medications within 2 weeks of the baseline assessment. Four drugs, chlorpropamide, propoxyphene, amitriptyline, and dipyridamole, accounted for 54% of all inappropriate prescribing. Unmarried subjects, those with ≥1 chronic diseases, high depressive symptoms, frequent physician visits, and combined Medicaid and Medicare insurance were more likely to have used at least 1 of the 32 potentially inappropriate drugs. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of inappropriate medication use is lower in older Mexican Americans than in similar white and African American populations. More studies are needed on the pattern of inappropriate prescribing over time and on intervention programs to reduce potentially adverse health outcomes in older Mexican Americans most at risk.
- Inappropriate prescribing
- Mexican Americans
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)