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Polypharmacy and medication use by cancer history in a nationally representative group of adults in the USA, 2003-2014.

Authors
  • Hsu, Christine D1
  • Nichols, Hazel B2
  • Lund, Jennifer L2
  • 1 Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. [email protected]
  • 2 Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of cancer survivorship : research and practice
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2022
Volume
16
Issue
3
Pages
659–666
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11764-021-01059-x
PMID: 34032998
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study examines polypharmacy and prescription drug use patterns in cancer survivors, a growing population at risk for cancer sequelae and side effects from treatment, which can arise months or even years following diagnosis. Survivors may experience greater medication burden than the general population, increasing concerns for polypharmacy and subsequent risks of drug interactions and non-adherence. Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2003 to 2014, we examined the association between a cancer history and presence of polypharmacy (5+ medications). We estimated prevalence ratios and prevalence differences for polypharmacy comparing those with and without a cancer history using binomial regression models and propensity score (PS) weighting to account for baseline differences between groups. We identified 32,238 adults aged 20 years or older; 1899 had cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin) at least 1 year before the survey. Overall, polypharmacy prevalence was 13% and 35% in those with and without a cancer history, respectively. After PS weighting, the polypharmacy prevalence was 1.26 times higher among those with versus without a cancer history (weighted prevalence ratio, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.18, 1.35). In sub-group analyses, the weighted prevalence ratio was largest for those 20-39 years old at survey (2.78; 95% CI, 1.71, 4.53), and the weighted prevalence difference was largest for those 40-64 years old at survey (9.35%; 95% CI, 5.70%, 13.01%). Cancer survivors of all ages take more medications than those without cancer history and may benefit from discussions with providers about age-tailored medication use management. © 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

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