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: Supercomputers link proteins to drug side effects

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

MasterCard, Zwipe announce fingerprint-sensor card

40 minutes ago

On Friday, MasterCard and Oslo, Norway-based Zwipe announced the launch of a contactless payment card featuring an integrated fingerprint sensor. Say goodbye to PINs. This card, they said, is the world's ...

Plastic nanoparticles also harm freshwater organisms

2 hours ago

Organisms can be negatively affected by plastic nanoparticles, not just in the seas and oceans but in freshwater bodies too. These particles slow the growth of algae, cause deformities in water fleas and impede communication ...

Atomic trigger shatters mystery of how glass deforms

2 hours ago

Throw a rock through a window made of silica glass, and the brittle, insulating oxide pane shatters. But whack a golf ball with a club made of metallic glass—a resilient conductor that looks like metal—and the glass not ...

US company sells out of Ebola toys

10 hours ago

They might look tasteless, but satisfied customers dub them cute and adorable. Ebola-themed toys have proved such a hit that one US-based company has sold out.

UN biodiversity meet commits to double funding

11 hours ago

A UN conference on preserving the earth's dwindling resources wrapped up Friday with governments making a firm commitment to double biodiversity aid to developing countries by 2015.

Recommended for you

Supercomputers link proteins to drug side effects

1 hour ago

New medications created by pharmaceutical companies have helped millions of Americans alleviate pain and suffering from their medical conditions. However, the drug creation process often misses many side ...

No added benefit proven for umeclidinium/vilanterol in COPD

9 hours ago

The drug combination umeclidinium/vilanterol (trade name Anoro) has been approved since May 2014 for adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In an early benefit assessment pursuant to the Act on the Reform ...

User comments : 0