The prevalence of chronic disease and drug use in the elderly in central Kirşehi·r
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Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of chronic diseases and drug use in the elderly in central Kirşehir. Materials and Methods: Randomly selected 290 elderly participants registered at six Family Health Centers in Kirşehir were interviewed between March and July 2009. A questionnaire form developed by the researchers was used as the data gathering tool. For analysis of the data, percentage, arithmetic mean, and Chi-square tests were used. Results: All of the participants had a diagnosis of at least one disease and used prescribed (80.3%) or prescribed plus over the counter (19.7%) drugs. The most frequent chronic diseases were hypertension and cardio-vascular diseases. The most frequently used drugs were antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular system drugs, and analgesics. The most commonly used over the counter drugs were analgesics . Of the elderly 17.2% had a complaint of side effects such as stomach-ache(40.0%) and head-ache (24.0%). An association was found between the number of chronic diseases present and age (p<0.01), education status (p<0.05), and the number of prescribed drugs used (p<0.001). No association was found between drug use and age, gender, education and economic status (all p>0.05). Conclusion: Prevention strategies at an earlier age may reduce the prevalence of chronic disease and drug use in the elderly.