Increasing Prevalence Of Anticholinergic Medication Use Over 20 Years In The UK Older Population: Cognitive Function And Ageing Study I and II

Carlota M. Grossi, Ian Maidment, Kathryn Richardson, Kathryn Richardson, Chris Fox, Carol Brayne, Fiona E Matthews, Louise Robinson, George M Savva

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstractpeer-review


Background: The use of medications with anticholin-ergic (AC) properties is linked to risks of cognitive de-cline, dementia, falls and mortality. These medicationsare prescribed or obtained over-the-counter, so cohortstudies offer the best opportunities to understandchanging patterns in their use.Objectives: To determine the prevalence of AC med-ication use in the UK older population between 1991and 2011.Methods: Data were obtained from the first waves of (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.3; CI 1.9 – 2.7), driven by in-creased urologicals and antidepressants. AC3 urologicalsincreased from 0.3 to 2.8% (OR 12.8, CI 7.6-21.5) andAC3 antidepressants from 4.0 to 5.9% (OR 1.8 CI 1.5-2.3). AC3 medications were more commonly used bywomen, those aged 75 and older, and those reportingdepression, anxiety, Parkinsons disease, diabetes, stroke,arthritis or asthma. AC3 use was not independentlyassociated with education or social class.Conclusions: Potent AC use increased in the UK olderpopulation from 1991 to 2011, largely due to risingurological and antidepressant use. This raises concernsas AC medications are associated with a range of side-effects including cognitive decline. This research wassupported by funding from Alzheimer’s Society (AS-PG-2013-017).the Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies (CFAS Iand II), which are representative of the UK populationaged 65 years and older in 1991 and 2011. We esti-mated the prevalence of medication use with any ACproperties (AC =1, 2 or 3) and with potent AC proper-ties (AC=3), rated on the AC Cognitive Burden Scale.Prevalence was calculated using inverse probabilityweights and standardised to the 2011 UK age andsex distribution. We used multivariable logistic regres-sion to estimate the effect of time, age, sex, education,social class, and relevant morbidities on AC3 use.Results: 7,639 and 7,762 participants provided medica-tion data in CFAS I and II respectively. In 1991 the prev-alence of AC123 and AC3 use was 50% (95%CI 48-51)and 5.7% (CI 5.2-6.3) and in 2011 64% (CI 63- 65) and9.9% (CI 9.3-10.7). AC3 use increased over 20 years
Original languageEnglish
Article number618
Pages (from-to)360-361
Number of pages2
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Issue numberSupp S3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2016
Event32nd International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology & Therapeutic Risk Management - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 25 Aug 201628 Aug 2016


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