Medication and supplement use in older people with and without intellectual disability: An observational, cross-sectional study

1 Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2 School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 3 IDS-TILDA School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 4 Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 5 School of Social Work, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America, 6 The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, 7 Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Source:  2017 Sep 6;12(9):e0184390. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184390. eCollection 2017.


Introduction Understanding the medication and supplement use of aging people is critical to ensuring that health service providers in primary care can optimise use of these agents. An increasing number of people with different levels of intellectual disability (ID) are living in the community and becoming for the first time substantial users of primary health care services. This, however, brings new challenges that need to be addressed at the primary health care level. We quantified the use of medicines and food supplements and described the associated patterns of morbidity in the two comparable cohorts of aging population with and without intellectual disability.

Method This research aligned participants of 50 years and over who lived in the community from two nationally representative cohorts of older people; those with ID from the Intellectual Disability Supplement (n = 238) and those without ID (n = 8,081) from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing.

Results Data showed that both medication and supplement use in the two groups was prevalent but that those with ID received more of both medications and supplements (e.g. polypharmacy was 39.0% in ID vs. 18.1% in non-ID cohort). Moreover, based on an analysis of the therapeutic groups and medications used that treatment was more intense in the ID cohort (95.8 vs. 7.0 International Non-proprietary Names per 100 participants). Supplement use was almost twice as prevalent in the ID group but substantially less diverse with only 10 types of supplements reported. Morbidity was higher in the ID group and showed a higher prevalence of neurological and mental health disorders.

Medication and supplement use among older people with and without IDD

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