By the Numbers: 5 November 2018

By the Numbers: 5 November 2018

The percentage of active duty military personnel with "polypharmacy (defined as five or more concurrent prescriptions)," according to an article in the June 2018 issue of the the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report -- Polypharmacy Involving Opioid, Psychotropic, and Central Nervous System Depressant Medications, Period Prevalence and Association with Suicidal Ideation, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016.

According to the article, the incidence of polypharmacy "was highest for the Army (14.5%) and lowest for the Marine Corps (7.4%)."

The researchers performed a "case control study" to determine if there was an association between polypharmacy and suicidal ideation (SI) and found "an increased adjusted odds of incident SI within 12 months following polypharmacy exposure, with adjusted odds ratios ranging from 1.53 (95% CI, 1.38-1.71) to 3.06 (95% CI, 2.00-4.70), depending on the number of qualifying polypharmacy criteria." These results indicate that "it would be prudent to screen for SI during the polypharmacy clinical encounter," according to the researchers.

The Medical Surveillance Monthly Report is published by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch.

By the Numbers: 5 November 2018 | Center for Deployment Psychology


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