versão impressa ISSN 0213-9111
SANS, S. et al. Prevalence of drug utilization in the adult population of Catalonia, Spain. Gac Sanit [online]. 2002, vol.16, n.2, pp. 121-130. ISSN 0213-9111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112002000200005.
Objectives: To describe the prevalence of drug utilization according to sociodemographic factors and self-perceived health in the adult population. Methods: Cross-sectional health survey of the CRONICAT/MONICA-Catalonia study carried out in 1994-96 in a random sample of the general population aged 25-64 years. A total of 3,421 participants (72% response rate) were interviewed about drug consumption in the previous two weeks with an open questionnaire. The participants were also asked about other health habits. Drugs were subsequently classified according to the ATC classification (1993 version). Results: A higher proportion of women (38%) than men (26%) self-perceived poor health status (p < 0.001). Age-adjusted total drug utilization was 57% in men (95%CI: 55-59) and 76% in women (95%CI: 74-78). Excluding contraceptives, regular drug utilization was 35% in men (95%CI: 33-37) and 48% in women (95%CI: 46-51). Twenty-nine percent of men and 48% of women (p < 0.001) took more than one drug. Neither educational level nor marital status influenced drug utilization. Among men, drug consumption was higher in retired individuals and pensioners (68%; 95%CI: 62-74) than in active workers (54%; 95%CI: 52-57). The most frequently used drugs were those for the nervous system (35% men and 51% women; p < 0.001), alimentary tract (15%) and the cardiovascular system (9% and 13%; p < 0.001). Most drugs (40%) were prescribed by specialists and one quarter was self-prescribed. Conclusions: The prevalence of total drug utilization in the adult population of Catalonia is high, specially among women, who self-perceived worse health status. Policies of rationalization of drug expenditures should take the epidemiological pattern into account.
Palavras-chave : Drug utilization; Prevalence; Health surveys; Self-perceived health; Gender; Socioeconomic; Pharmacoepidemiology.