. Despite the prevalence of multimorbidity among African American (AA) older adults, little information exists on correlates of polypharmacy (using 5+ medications) in AA older adults. There is more information available regarding the link between polypharmacy and physical aspects of health than subjective ones. Aims
. In a local sample of AA older adults in Los Angeles, this study investigated the association of polypharmacy with self-rated health (SRH) and depression. We also explored gender differences in these links. Methods
. This community-based study was conducted in south Los Angeles. A total number of 708 AA older adults (age ≥ 55 years) were entered into this study. From this number, 253 were AA men and 455 were AA women. Polypharmacy was the independent variable. Self-rated health (SRH) and depression were the dependent variables. Age, educational attainment, financial difficulty (difficulty paying bills, etc.), and marital status were covariates. Gender was the moderator. Multimorbidity, measured as the number of chronic diseases (CDs), was the mediator. Logistic regressions were applied for data analysis. Results
. Polypharmacy was associated with worse SRH and depression. Multimorbidity fully mediated the association between polypharmacy and depressive symptoms. Multimorbidity only partially mediated the association between polypharmacy and poor SRH. Gender moderated the association between polypharmacy and SRH, as polypharmacy was associated with poor SRH in women but not men. Gender did not alter the association between polypharmacy and depression. Conclusions
. AA older women with polypharmacy experience worse SRH and depression, an association which is partially due to the underlying multimorbidity. There is a need for preventing inappropriate polypharmacy in AA older adults, particularly when addressing poor SRH and depression in AA older women with multimorbidity.
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