Study: Many elderly receive improper medications

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A significant number of elderly people are likely receiving inappropriate prescriptions, according to a new study.

More than 28% of elderly people received at least one of 33 medications deemed potentially inappropriate by medical experts, while 5% received one of 11 drugs that had been classified as inappropriate in older patients, the study said. Research data is linked to more than 175,000 older adults enrolled in HMOs during the 2000-2001 period.

Rates of use of any of the 33 potentially inappropriate medications were greater in women than in men, data showed. Prescriptions of these medications for elderly people have not decreased, recently reported information indicates.

"The use of potentially inappropriate medications in the elderly continues to be pervasive throughout the United States despite more than a decade of research and media coverage of this issue," the authors wrote in the February Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.