WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Use of prescription drugs is similar in the United States and Canada, with almost 70 percent of adults aged 40 to 79 years using at least one prescription drug, according to an August data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Craig M. Hales, M.D., M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Canadian Health Measures Survey to describe use of prescription drugs among adults aged 40 to 79 years.

The researchers found that in the United States and Canada, 69.0 and 65.5 percent of adults aged 40 to 79 years, respectively, used at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days, and 22.4 and 18.8 percent, respectively, used at least five prescription drugs. The most commonly used drug types among adults aged 40 to 59 years were antidepressants, lipid-lowering drugs, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in the United States and analgesics, antidepressants, and lipid-lowering drugs in Canada. Among adults aged 60 to 79 years, the most commonly used drug types were lipid-lowering drugs, antidiabetic agents, and beta-blockers in the United States, while in Canada, the most commonly used drug types for this age group were lipid-lowering drugs, analgesics, and proton pump inhibitors.

“Monitoring the use of prescription drugs provides insights into the health and health care of U.S. and Canadian adults,” the authors write. “Patterns of the most commonly used drug types are different in the two countries.”

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