SelfCare Focus: a selection of newly published papers on self-care from the worldwide literature. 4. Socioeconomic differences in self-medication among middle-aged and older people: data from the China health and retirement longitudinal study

Socioeconomic differences in self-medication among middle-aged and older people: data from the China health and retirement longitudinal study.

By:  Chang J, Wang Q, Fang Y.

BMJ Open. 2017 Dec 19;7(12):e017306.

Summary: Self-medication with OTC and prescription-only medicines (POMs) are pervasive in China, although the latter is an inappropriate practice. The researchers examined the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and self-medication with OTCs versus POMs. In ther study sample, 32.69% and 15.02% of people had self-medicated with OTCs and POMs in the 4 weeks before the survey, respectively. OTC use by income exhibited an inverse U shape. Respondents from middle income groups were more likely to self-medicate with OTCs compared with those from the lowest and highest income groups. There was a clear trend towards more self-medication with OTCs, but not POMs, among those with higher educational attainment.

Abstract.

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