Nearly half of all adults in England are regularly taking a prescription drug. The most commonly prescribed are the statins, antidepressants and pain relief medications, costing the UK's National Health Service around lb15 bn a year.
Around half of women and 43 per cent of men are regularly taking a prescription drug, and many are taking at least three at the same time.
One third of prescriptions are for cardiovascular disease, with around 65 million prescriptions being written for drugs that treat high blood pressure (hypertension), heart failure or raised cholesterol levels.
People from deprived areas or were overweight or obese were more likely to be taking a prescription drug, the latest report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre has revealed.
Half of all men aged 65 and older were also taking a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, and the most commonly prescribed was simvastatin, marketed as Zocor. But people who don't want to take drugs could be doing more for their heart health by exercising, eating more fruit and vegetables, and losing weight, said one of the report's authors, Dr Jennifer Mindell from University College London.
(Source: BBC, December 10, 2014)