Polypharmacy has become a major health issue for pregnant woman due to the increased trend of medication use during pregnancy. However, data on medication use in pregnancy are limited since pregnant women are rarely included in clinical trials. Our study aimed to investigate the trends of and characteristics associated with polypharmacy among pregnant women in the US. This study was conducted using data from The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the US. Nine The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cycles between 1999 and 2016 were used to identify pregnant women aged 15 to 44 years. Polypharmacy was defined as more than 1 medication prescription used during pregnancy. Descriptive statistics were used to report the prevalence and trends of polypharmacy. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate characteristics associated with polypharmacy among US pregnant women. Among 3,350,983 US pregnant women, about 7.4% of them (247,525) experienced polypharmacy. The prevalence of polypharmacy increased from 2.8% (1999-2000) to 10.0% (2015-2016) (P<.01) over-the time period examined in this study. Pregnant women were less likely to have experienced polypharmacy than were nonpregnant women (7.4% vs 23.5%, P<.01). Levothyroxine and albuterol were 2 prescriptions commonly taken by pregnant women. Pregnant women who were non-Hispanic white (P<.05) or had asthma (P<.05) or diabetes (P<.01) were more likely to report polypharmacy. Regarding personal characteristics, women with a poor or fair self-reported general health condition (odds ratio: 5.12, 95% confidence interval: 1.23-21.34) and those with chronic conditions (odds ratio: 6.91, 95% confidence interval: 3.08-15.50) were found to be associated with polypharmacy. An increased trend of polypharmacy was found in the US from 1999 to 2016. Non-Hispanic white pregnant women with a poor health status and chronic diseases were at an increased risk of polypharmacy.
- national health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES)
- pregnant women
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