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Cardiac drug use and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among older men and women.

K.L. Dominick, C.H. Gold, F.M. Ahern, D.A. Heller. The Gerontologist 1999;39(1):244.

Cardiac drugs are the most commonly prescribed medications for the elderly. It is therefore important to understand associations between use of these drugs and aspects of HRQOL. The sample for this study were current prescription drug users enrolled in Pennsylvania's Contract for the Elderly (PACE) who completed a mail version of the CDC's BRFSS HRQOL survey (n=70,521). Fifty-six percent of the sample were cardiac drug users. Regression analyses controlling for age and gender found that cardiac drug users, compared with non-cardiac drug users, reported more days of poor physical health (beta=0.7), activity limitation due to health (beta=0.05), pain (beta=0.06), poor sleep (beta= 0.05) (all p<0.001) and anxiety (beta=0.04, p<0.01). Among the cardiac drug users only, regression analyses controlling for age found that males reported significantly more days of poor physical health (beta=0.07), poor mental health (beta=0.04), activity limitation due to health (b=0.05) and depression (beta=0.03) (all p<0.001). Females reported more days of feeling very healthy and full of energy (beta=0.05 p<0.001). These results indicate that elderly cardiac drug users report more negative HRQOL compared to those using other prescription drugs and that male cardiac drug users report less favorable HR-QOL than females. Analyses by specific cardiac drug categories will also be presented.

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