Later-life transitions and changes in prescription medication use for pain and depression.

TitleLater-life transitions and changes in prescription medication use for pain and depression.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsLam, J, Vuolo, M
JournalBMC Geriatrics
ISSN Number1471-2318
Keywordsdepression, pain, prescription drugs, Prescriptions, Retirement

BACKGROUND: Over the past two decades, prescription medication use for pain and depression increased dramatically. Most studies consider the early life course, despite a similar increase among those in later life. In this paper, we examine whether and how later life transitions may relate to changes in medication use.

METHODS: We draw on data from the Health and Retirement Study and fixed-effects models to examine whether work, family, and civic transitions in later life are related to changes in the usage of prescription pain and depression medication.

RESULTS: Results show that individuals had higher odds of regularly using prescription pain and depression medications in periods when out of the labor market. Higher odds of depression medication use were also associated with periods of widowhood, and lower odds of use when frequently volunteering. Such relations persist adjusting for reported levels of pain and depression.

CONCLUSION: Our findings call attention to the importance of social ties and the presence of actors that may regulate health behaviors, as well as a change in social context, that may shape medication use in later life.

Citation Key12320
PubMed ID35300602
PubMed Central IDPMC8931979