Advertisement

European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 199–204 | Cite as

Patterns of psychotropic medicine use and related diseases across educational groups: national cross-sectional survey

  • Merete W. NielsenEmail author
  • Ebba Holme Hansen
  • Niels Kristian Rasmussen
Pharmacoepidemiology and Prescription

Abstract

Objective

To analyse whether the use of different groups of psychotropic medicines among educational groups in a general population was congruent with the occurrence of related diseases.

Methods

Data from The Danish Health and Morbidity Survey 2000 were analysed. The survey was conducted by face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of the Danish population aged 16 years and above (n=16,690). The prevalence of four different types of psychotropic medicine use and related diseases in educational groups was analysed by indirect standardisation. Age and gender standardised prevalence ratios (SPRs) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated based on the total study population.

Results

In general, respondents in the two least-educated groups used psychotropic medicines more often and had a higher proportion reporting the related disease than could be expected according to indirect standardisation. The opposite picture appeared for respondents in the two highest educated groups (SPR<100). The overall patterns were similar for all four groups of psychotropic medicine users, although some of the SPRs were not significant.

Conclusions

The results documented an uneven distribution of health problems in the general population. Psychotropic medicine use was congruent with the distribution of related health problems, which means that the least-educated groups in most need of treatment also had the most-frequent medicine use. Expenses incurred by the individual user did not seem to be a barrier to access to medicines, not even for specific groups of medicine ineligible for reimbursement in Denmark.

Keywords

Psychotropic medicine Education General population 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Ola Ekholm, National Institute of Public Health, for statistical support during the analyses. Data collection was funded by a grant from The Danish Ministry of Health and data analysis by a PhD fellowship from The Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

References

  1. 1.
    The Danish Medicines Agency (2003) Surveillance (in Danish).http://www.laegemiddelstyrelsen.dk/statistik/overvaagning/udgifter/2003–3.asp
  2. 2.
    Hansen EH (1997) Hypnotics and tranquillisers. Use, dependence, interventions (in Danish). The Danish Medicines Agency, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ohayon MM, Caulet M, Priest RG, Guilleminault C (1998) Psychotropic medication consumption patterns in the UK general population. J Clin Epidemiol 51:273–283Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mackenzie IF, Buckingham K, Wankowski JM, Wilcock M (1999) Morbidity, deprivation, and antidepressant prescribing in general practice. Br J Gen Pract 49:884–886PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pakesch G, Loimer N, Rasinger E, Tutsch G, Katschnig H (1989) The prevalence of psychoactive drug intake in a metropolitan population. Pharmacopsychiatry 22:61–65PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Blennow G, Romelsjö A, Leifman H, Leifman A, Karlsson G (1994) Sedatives and hypnotics in Stockholm: social factors and kinds of use. Am J Public Health 84:242–246PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Magrini N, Vaccheri A, Parma E, D’Alessandro R, Bottoni A, Occhionero M, Montanaro N (1996) Use of benzodiazepines in the Italian general population: prevalence, pattern of use and risk factors for use. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 50:19–25Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Olfson M, Pincus HA (1994) Use of benzodiazepines in the community. Arch Intern Med 154:1235–1240PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Swartz M, Landerman R, George LK, Melville ML, Blazer D, Smith K (1991) Benzodiazepine anti-anxiety agents: prevalence and correlates of use in a Southern community. Am J Public Health 81:592–596PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pallesen S, Norhus IH, Nielsen GH, Havik OE, Kvale G, Jeohnsen BH, Skjøtskift S (2001) Prevalence of insomnia in the adult Norwegian population. Sleep 24:771–779PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lynch J, Kaplan G (2000) Socioeconomic position. In: Berkman LF, Kawachi I (eds) Social epidemiology. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 13–35Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kjøller M, Rasmussen NK (2002) Danish health and morbidity survey 2000....and trends since 1987 (in Danish). Statens Institut for Folkesundhed, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Vallgårda S, Krasnik A, Vrangbaek K (2001) Health care systems in transition—Denmark 2001. European Observatory on Health Care Systems, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    The Danish Medicines Agency (2003) Letter about medicines eligible for reimbursement (in Danish).http://www.laegemiddelstyrelsen.dk/tilskud/generelt/tilskud/fortegnelse.doc.
  15. 15.
    World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology (2003) Guidelines for ATC classification and DDD assignment, 6th edn. World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology, OsloGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    UNESCO (1997) International standard classification of education ISCED 1997. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Analysis group of PAHO’s special program for health analysis (SHA) (2002) Standardization: a classic epidemiological method for the comparison of rates. Epidemiol Bull 23:9–12PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Reijneveld SA, Stronks K (2001) The validity of self-reported use of health care across socioeconomic strata: a comparison of survey and registration data. Int J Epidemiol 30:1407–1414CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Van den Brandt PA, Petri H, Dorant E, Goldbohm RA, Van de Crommert S (1991) Comparison of questionnaire information and pharmacy data on drug use. Pharm Weekbl Sci 13:91–96PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Knudsen P, Hansen EH, Traulsen JM (2002) Perceptions of young women using SSRI antidepressants—a reclassification of stigma. Int J Pharm Pract 10:243–252Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Klungel OH, de Boer A, Paes AHP, Herings RMC, Seidell JC, Bakker A (2000) Influence of question structure on the recall of self-reported drug use. J Clin Epidemiol 53:273–277Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merete W. Nielsen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ebba Holme Hansen
    • 2
  • Niels Kristian Rasmussen
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social PharmacyThe Danish University of Pharmaceutical SciencesCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.FKL–Research Centre for Quality in Medicine UseCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.National Institute of Public HealthCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations