Prescription medication use among normal weight, overweight, and obese adults, United States, 2005-2008.Ann Epidemiol. 2012 Feb; 22(2):112-9.AE
We sought to describe differences between normal weight, overweight, and obese adults in use of specific prescription medication classes.
Cross-sectional analysis of prescription medication use among 9789 adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally representative sample of the United States.
In 2005-2008, 56.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 54.6-58.3) of adults used 1+ prescription medication. Approximately one-quarter of adults used a hypertension medication (26.1%; 95% CI, 24.5%-27.8%). The use of hypertension medications increased with increasing weight status (normal weight: 17.2%; 95% CI, 15.6%-18.8%; overweight: 24.5%, 95% CI, 22.6%-26.4%; and obese: 35.1%, 95% CI, 32.8%-37.4%). Similarly, lipid-lowering, analgesic, antidepressant, proton pump inhibitors, thyroid, diabetes, and bronchodilator medication use was greater among obese compared with normal weight adults (each p < .01). Among adults 65+ years, 72% (95% CI, 68.2%-75.8%) of men and 67.7% (95% CI, 64.3%-71.2%) of women used a hypertension medication and a majority of men (51.2%, 95% CI, 48.4%-54%) and 40.3% (95% CI, 36.8%-43.8%) of women used lipid lowering medications; the use of both was greater among obese adults compared to normal weight adults (both p < .01).
Obese adults in the United States use several prescription medication classes more frequently, than normal weight adults, including hypertension, lipid-lowering, and diabetes medications.