Socioeconomic Variations in Use of Prescription Medicines for COPD: A Register-Based Study

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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to examine socioeconomic variations in the use of prescription medicines among elderly subjects with COPD.

METHODS: Data from the Danish national administrative registers were used. The study population included 1,365 individuals >60 y old residing in the Municipality of Copenhagen and diagnosed with COPD in a hospital setting in 2007. Logistic regression analysis was applied to examine the associations between the use of all prescription medicines for obstructive pulmonary diseases and the use of long-acting bronchodilators, in subject groups of different socioeconomic position.

RESULTS: The study demonstrated that approximately 90% of subjects with COPD purchased at least one prescription medicine for obstructive pulmonary diseases, whereas approximately 50% purchased a long-acting bronchodilator. Medicine use did not vary according to educational status or personal wealth.

CONCLUSIONS: There were no systematic socioeconomic differences in the use of relevant prescription medicines in elderly subjects diagnosed with COPD in hospital settings in Copenhagen. However, our findings indicate a gap between guideline recommendations and observed use of long-acting bronchodilators and hence suboptimal quality of treatment in the elderly COPD population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRespiratory Care
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)943-949
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

ID: 154367780