Prevalence and trends in psychotropic medication use among US male veterans, 1999–2010†
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Prevalence and trends in psychotropic medication use among US male veterans, 1999–2010†

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf
    • Description:

      Prior studies of psychotropic medication use among US veterans are limited in their ability to generalize estimates to the full veteran population and make comparisons with non-veterans. This study estimated the prevalence of psychotropic medication use and trends over time among male US veterans, compared their use of psychotropic medications with non-veteran males, and examined differences among veteran subpopulations.


      The data for our analysis came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999–2010), a cross-sectional, nationally representative study of the civilian, non-institutionalized US population.


      The percentage of male veterans who used any psychotropic medication increased from 10.4% in 1999–2002 to 14.3% in 2003–2006, then remained stable in 2007–2010 (14.0%). During the same time period, the percentage of non-veteran males who used psychotropic medications remained relatively stable (7.0%, 8.3%, and 9.2%, respectively). Veterans were more likely to use psychotropic medication, specifically antidepressants, than non-veterans. The percentage of non-Hispanic white veterans and veterans aged 60 years and over who used psychotropic medications increased between 1999–2002 and 2003–2006, but the percentages remained stable between 2003–2006 and 2007–2010. In 2003–2006 and 2007–2010, a higher percentage of non-Hispanic white veterans used psychotropic medications than non-Hispanic black veterans.


      This study found that the use of psychotropic medications and antidepressants was higher among male veterans than male non-veterans, and that prevalence of use increased between 1999–2002 and 2007–2010 for male veterans but remained relatively stable for non-veterans. There were significant variations in the use of psychotropic medications among veteran subpopulations.

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