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New study highlights which older adults may need help with medication

24th June 2016

New research has examined and identified a number of key traits that might cause older people to require help with their medication.

The Duke University paper looked at study data from 4,106 older people living in five counties in North Carolina, assessing their health status, mental abilities and use of medications.

At the beginning of the study, 7.1 percent of participants needed help with their prescriptions, rising to 11 percent three years later. Predictors of a new need for medication help included being aged 75 and above or male, as well as having memory problems or issues with activities involved in daily living.

The researchers reported that people aged 80 and older were 1.5 to three times as likely to need help with their medications than those aged 65 to 69, while men were 1.5 to two times as likely as women to need help.

Meanwhile, the odds of needing help were three to five times greater among people with memory problems.

Dr Brenda Jamerson at the Center on Biobehavioral Health Disparities Research at Duke University said: "Serious side effects may also occur from taking medications at the wrong time or in the wrong dose. Some older adults can put themselves at risk for experiencing problems if they don't receive the assistance they may need."ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801820765-ADNFCR

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