Understanding polypharmacy statistics means grasping a complex concept. There are numerous components to polypharmacy that must be understood, in order to grasp polypharmacy statistics as they are meant to be understood.
In the first place, you’ll certainly want a rounded definition of polypharmacy. This will give you the foundation necessary to understand the intricacies of the polypharmacy statistics that are available to you.
Statistics On Polypharmacy
If you’re interested in learning more about polypharmacy statistics, then here are a few of the things you absolutely need to comprehend:
1. In a broad sense, polypharmacy is a term used to describe individuals who are taking multiple medications. The term isn’t inherently negative, but it is frequently used to describe situations in which individuals are taking an unhealthy mixture of various medications.
2. Although polypharmacy is a term that can be applied to any age, it is more frequently applied to elderly individuals, or those who are over sixty-five years of age. This reflects the fact that after a certain age, individuals are likely to be administered a range of medications to assist with a range of medical issues.
3. Polypharmacy does have the potential to be an appropriate course of action. There are indeed a variety of situations in which it necessary for a person to be prescribed a range of medications.
4. However, there is a considerable dark side to polypharmacy. One that many believe far outweighs the potential good polypharmacy is capable of.
5. For example, polypharmacy is responsible for a shocking 28% of all hospital admissions.
6. Polypharmacy is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.
These are some of the essential basics to polypharmacy. As you can see, the potential good of the concept has a substantial downside that must be considered. Unfortunately, owing to a number of factors, many fail to take polypharmacy as seriously as they perhaps should.
There’s more to polypharmacy that should be regarded:
1. Given that many people believe the problem of polypharmacy is one that is considerably more severe with seniors (65 or older) than with any other age group, it’s worth keeping in mind statistics of senior citizens in the United States. For example, there are currently an estimated thirty-eight million seniors in the U.S. at this time. By 2030, it is expected that this number will climb to seventy-five million.
2. The average number of prescriptions taken by individuals between the ages of sixty-five and sixty-nine is around fourteen. Between the ages of eighty and eighty-four, the average number of prescriptions taken over the course of a year by a single individual is eighteen. Based on the above information, it’s easy to see why many choose to regard polypharmacy as a problem that primarily impacts senior citizens.
3. Between 1998 and 2005, over 467, 908 substantial adverse drug events were reported. Adverse refers to any situation in which adverse side effects to a drug or to a mixture of drugs resulted in death, birth defects, disabilities, hospitalization, a life threatening situation, or any situation in which medical attention was required.
4. Between 1998 and 2006, the number of substantial adverse drug events that resulted in fatality almost tripled.
5. It’s important to mention once again that polypharmacy is not an inherently negative concept. It can be essential in many cases for a physician to establish a medication regimen for a patient. Many polypharmacy problems stem from two sources. The first is when a single patient is receiving various medications from more than one doctor. The second is when a combination of drugs is prescribed, with no prior research as to how the drugs in question will interact, particularly in regards to each individual drug’s side effects.
6. Pill burden refers to the assortment of pills a particular patient is taking. This concept can be found in several patient populations.
One of the problems with defining polypharmacy is that it’s a concept interpreted in different ways by different individuals. Some believe it refers solely to abuse. While others will establish a polypharmacy definition in a much broader sense, simply using the term to describe individuals who are taking a variety of medications.
Even the age of an individual who might be considered an example of polypharmacy is a subject of debate. Many believe that polypharmacy is a concept that can only be applied to people who are over a certain age. Others will tell you that polypharmacy is something that can be applied to anyone, regardless of their age.
In the end, you can make the case that everyone is right. This is perhaps the best way to look at the concept of polypharmacy. It is a complex concept with a variety of definitions. Understanding this fact should make it considerably easier to appreciate the polypharmacy stats you’re going to come across in any form of research.