Study reveals antidepressants most common medication for Australian women

Dec 16, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study has revealed the most commonly prescribed medication for Australian women is antidepressants. The study, by researchers from Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH).

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Medicare data were linked to survey data to examine claims and costs of medications and other health care resources.

University of Newcastle study co-director and lead author of the Use and costs of medications and other health care resources report, Professor Julie Byles, said the research indicated the prevalence of antidepressant use increased with age.

“Eight percent of younger women and 14 percent of mid-age women used antidepressants during the surveyed period," Professor Byles said.

"This figure jumps to 18 percent in older women."

“However, the use of antidepressants is not a clear indicator of the extent of depression among women. For example, among young women who reported a diagnosis of depression, 40 percent had not used prescribed antidepressant medication.”

Other significant findings from the research include:

• Older women, in particular, mentioned the impact of of costs of medication on their ability to manage their incomes
• There were few differences in patterns of claims between women living in urban, rural and remote areas
• There was evidence that women who made claims for common medications had a lower socio-economic status.

The release of the report coincides with the Australian Government's announcement of a further $5 million to continue the longitudinal study for the next three and a half years. ALSWH has been funded by the Department of Health and Ageing since it commenced in 1996.

UQ ALSWH Director, Professor Annette Dobson, said the research provided an evidence-base to Government to assist health policy and programs to keep pace with the evolving needs of Australian women.

“The ongoing support of the Australian Government means the study's findings can continue to provide an invaluable insight into the biological, psychosocial and environmental factors affecting women across the course of life," Professor Dobson said.

The ALSWH is a 20 year project involving three cohorts spanning three generations. More than 40,000 women participate in the study. Researchers based in Newcastle work in collaboration with the Hunter Medical Research Institute. Use and costs of medications and other health care resources are available at www.alswh.org.au .

Provided by UQ

Explore further: Bristol-Myers: FDA blocks hepatitis C drug for now

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pressure forces teens to 'sext': Australian study

Sep 30, 2011

Teenagers are under pressure to send nude photos of themselves and other sexual images from their mobile phones as "sexting" becomes more widespread, new Australian research shows.

Malaysia: Files were deleted from flight simulator

Mar 19, 2014

Investigators are trying to restore files deleted last month from the home flight simulator of the pilot aboard the missing Malaysian plane to see if they shed any light on the disappearance, Malaysia's defense ...

Recommended for you

Have a cold? Don't ask your doctor for antibiotics

Nov 26, 2014

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Resistance makes it harder for physicians to treat infections and can increase the chance patients will die from an infection. What is more, the treatment ...

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

Nov 25, 2014

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.