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Trends in the prescription of benzodiazepines for the elderly in Korea

 Soo-Hee Hwang  ;  Seungjin Han  ;  Hyojung Choi  ;  Choonseon Park  ;  Sun Min Kim  ;  Tae Hyun Kim 
 BMC PSYCHIATRY, Vol.17(1) : 303, 2017-08 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Aged ; Benzodiazepines / adverse effects* ; Databases, Factual ; Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data* ; Female ; Humans ; Inappropriate Prescribing / trends* ; Male ; National Health Programs / trends ; Prevalence ; Republic of Korea ; Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
Benzodiazepines ; Elderly ; Inappropriate drugs ; Prescribing quality indicators
Background: This study examined trends in the prescription of benzodiazepines for the elderly (age over 65 years) in Korea, a country with a higher level of spending on pharmaceuticals compared to that in other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, and identified factors related to the inappropriate use of such drugs.

Methods: We used the National Health Insurance Claims Data (NHICD) for the period 2009-2013, including all reimbursed drug-prescribing information. Following the OECD's prescribing quality indicators (PQIs), we looked at the prevalence, quantities, durations, and inappropriate (long-term or high-quantity) use of benzodiazepines, some of the most widely prescribed, but potentially inappropriate, drugs for the elderly. We also performed multivariate logistic regression analyses to identify factors related to the inappropriate use of these drugs.

Results: The annual prevalence of benzodiazepine prescribing for elderly subjects decreased slightly over time but remained high (37.9% in 2009 and 35.1% in 2013). There were also small decreases in the inappropriate long-term use of benzodiazepines over the five years, with a 0.6 decrease in the Defined Daily Dose and a 4.1 per 1,000 decreases in elderly user-days. The proportion of subjects using long-acting benzodiazepines also fell from 263.6 to 220.4 per 1,000 elderly patients. The regression analyses found that the inappropriate long-term use of benzodiazepines in the elderly was significantly related to the patients visiting several institutions and physicians prescribing more than 30 days' worth of medication.

Conclusions: The prevalence of prescribing potentially inappropriate drugs, such as benzodiazepines, remains high in Korea. Policy efforts, such as a periodic assessment of prescribing, restricting prescribing days, and more practical guidelines, are needed to improve the quality of prescribing.
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4. Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Tae Hyun(김태현) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1053-8958
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