TITLE

Social class variation in medicine use among adolescents

AUTHOR(S)
Holstein, Bjørn E.; Hansen, Ebba Holme; Due, Pernille
PUB. DATE
March 2004
SOURCE
European Journal of Public Health;Mar2004, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p49
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: Little is known about social determinants of adolescents' medicine use. The objective was to analyse the association between the family's social class and adolescents' use of medicine for headache, stomachache, difficulties in getting to sleep, and nervousness. Methods: Cross-sectional study of 11-, 13- and 15-year-olds, a Danish contribution to the WHO international collaborative study Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) 1998. The study population comprised students from a national random sample of schools who answered a standardized questionnaire in the classroom, participation rate 88%, n=5,205. Results: Logistic regression analyses showed that medicine use for all four symptoms increased by decreasing social class, controlled for age and prevalence of the specific symptom for which the medicine was taken. Adjusted OR (95% Cl) for medicine use among students from lower social classes were: medicine for headache 1.35 (1.11-1.65), medicine for stomachache 1.41 (1.08-1.84), medicine for difficulties in getting to sleep 2.00 (1.30-3.08), and medicine for nervousness 3.22 (1.87-5.56). Conclusion: Symptom-adjusted medicine use in a representative sample of Danish adolescents showed a clear and graded increase with decreasing social class. Policies to reduce social inequality in health should address medicine use as well.
ACCESSION #
13503839

 

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