Marked geographic variation in mental health medication use

Marked geographic variation in mental health medication use
There is considerable local and regional variation within the United States in the use of antidepressants, antipsychotics, and stimulants, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in Health & Place.

(HealthDay)—There is considerable local and regional variation within the United States in the use of antidepressants, antipsychotics, and stimulants, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in Health & Place.

To examine local and regional variability in antidepressant, antipsychotic, and stimulant medication use in the United States, Marissa King, Ph.D., from the Yale School of Management, and Connor Essick, from the Yale School of Public Health—both in New Haven, Conn., examined data from a database that covers more than 60 percent of all retail prescriptions in the .

The researchers found that, within three-digit postal codes, the use of ranged from less than 1 percent to more than 40 percent of residents. Similar levels of local geographic variability were seen for and stimulants. There were very clear geographic clusters of use: based on the Kuldorff Spatial Scan, significant clusters were identified for antidepressants (relative risk [RR], 1.46), antipsychotics (RR, 1.42), and (RR, 1.77). Much of the variance could be attributed to access to health care, insurance coverage, and pharmaceutical marketing.

"The geographic patterns we identify are striking and map onto the patterns found for a host of other medical conditions and treatments—from cognitive decline to bypass surgery," King said in a statement. "Our work suggests that access to clinical care and pharmaceutical marketing may be critical for understanding who gets treated and how they get treated."

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Record 4.02 billion prescriptions in United States in 2011

Sep 12, 2012

People in the United States took more prescription drugs than ever last year, with the number of prescriptions increasing from 3.99 billion (with a cost of $308.6 billion) in 2010 to 4.02 billion (with a cost of $319.9 billion) ...

Diabetes linked to increased cause-specific mortality

Jun 21, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Diabetes is linked with a significantly increased risk of death from many diseases, including specific cancers, in both men and women, according to a study published online June 14 in Diabetes Ca ...

Recommended for you

What sign language teaches us about the brain

Jul 25, 2014

The world's leading humanoid robot, ASIMO, has recently learnt sign language. The news of this breakthrough came just as I completed Level 1 of British Sign Language (I dare say it took me longer to master signing ...

Why do men prefer nice women?

Jul 25, 2014

People's emotional reactions and desires in initial romantic encounters determine the fate of a potential relationship. Responsiveness may be one of those initial "sparks" necessary to fuel sexual desire and land a second ...

Study reveals how to be socially successful

Jul 25, 2014

Romantic, personal and professional relationships are fraught with danger, but a University of Queensland researcher has found the secret to interacting successfully with others in such settings.

User comments