Pharmacotherapy for mood and anxiety disorders in older people with intellectual disability in comparison with the general population

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: People with intellectual disability (ID) have high prevalence of psychiatric disorders, but even higher rates of prescription of psychotropic drugs. METHODS: Using Swedish national registers, we identified a group of older people with ID and diagnosis of mood disorders (ICD-10 codes F32-F39) and/or anxiety (ICD-10 code F4) during 2006-2012 (n = 587) and a referent group of people from the general population with the same diagnoses during the same time period (n = 434). For both groups, we collected information on prescription of anxiolytics, hypnotics and sedatives, antidepressants, and GABA-agonists. RESULTS: Among those with a diagnosis of anxiety, people with ID were more likely than those in the general population to be prescribed anxiolytics (Relative Risk 1.32 [95% Confidence Interval 1.19-1.46]) and GABA-agonists (1.10 [1.08-1.31]). Moreover, among those with anxiety but without mood disorders, ID was associated with increased prescription of antidepressants (1.20 [1.03-1.39]). Within the ID cohort, behaviour impairment and MSP (i.e. moderate, severe, or profound) ID was associated with increased prescription of anxiolytics, both among those with anxiety (1.15 [1.03-1.30] for behaviour impairment and 1.23 [1.10-1.38] for MSP ID) and among those with mood disorders (1.14 [0.97-1.35] for behaviour impairment and 1.26 [1.04-1.52] for MSP ID). Moreover, MSP ID was associated with increased prescription of GABA-agonists among those with anxiety (1.23 [1.10-1.38]). CONCLUSIONS: The excess prescription of anxiolytics but not antidepressants may suggest shortages in the psychiatric health care of older people with intellectual disability and mood and anxiety disorders.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychiatry

Keywords

  • Aging, Down syndrome, Drug prescription, Mental retardation, Sedatives
Original languageEnglish
Article number238
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes