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Elderly women more likely to be overprescribed meds than men: study

Last Updated May 5, 2016 at 5:40 pm PDT

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Summary

One-quarter of men were prescribed medications in 2013 that weren't worth the risk they posed

Experts hope the federal and provincial governments step in

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you’re under the age of 65 and take prescription medications, there’s a good chance what’s best for you now won’t be best once you become a senior. And a UBC professor is sounding the alarm following a new study that finds the number of older people in our province are being given meds they shouldn’t be.

One-quarter of men were prescribed medications in 2013 that are not worth the risk they pose, according to Steve Morgan, who led the study. And the number was even higher for women — one-third fell into the same category.

“Some of them have implications in terms of the function of liver and kidney and other organs.  Others commonly actually have just elevated risks of things such as dizziness and falls.”

“In fact, study after study has shown that exposure to the kinds of prescriptions that we measured in our study does elevate one’s risks of hospitalization and even one’s risk of premature death.”

He’d like to see a strategy involving the federal and provincial governments to deal with the problem.