Socio-economic differences in use of prescribed and over-the-counter medicine for pain and psychological problems among Danish adolescents—a longitudinal study

Mette Jørgine Kirkeby, Claus D. Hansen, Johan Hviid Andersen

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Abstract

The objective for this study was to investigate
socio-economic status (SES) differentials in the use of overthe-
counter and prescribed medicine for pain and psychological
problems among adolescents. Data consisted of questionnaire
data on medicine use and health status, collected from
17- to 18-year-old adolescents (n=2,400) during second
round of theWest Jutland cohort study 2007, and register data
on prescribed medicine use, parental educational level and
household income. We used multiple logistic regression analysis
to calculate odd ratios for self-reported and register-based
use of medicine for pain and psychological problems according
to parental educational level and household income.
Young girls used twice as much medicine for pain and psychological
problems compared to young boys. SES differences
based on parental educational level were directly associated
with the use of prescribed medicine for psychological
problems, and SES differences based on household income
were directly associated with overall medicine use and use of
over-the-counter medicine. Some of the SES differentials
disappeared or decreased after adjusting for health status.
There were no SES differentials in the use of prescribed
medicine for pain. Conclusion: The risk of use of prescribed
medicine for psychological problems increased in adolescents
with decreasing parental education, while the risk of overall
medicine use and use of over-the-counter medicine was increased
in adolescents from low household income.
Furthermore, the results indicate that some of the SES differentials
in medicine use could be explained by a difference in
health status across SES.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Volume173
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1147–1155
Number of pages9
ISSN0340-6199
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

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