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Open AccessArticle

Polypharmacy Is Associated with Lower Memory Function in African American Older Adults

1
Department of Family Medicine, Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2
Department of Pharmacy Practice, West Coast University School of Pharmacy, Los Angeles, CA 91606, USA
3
Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
4
Department of Family Medicine, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10010049
Received: 17 November 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2020 / Accepted: 14 January 2020 / Published: 16 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dementia and Cognitive Ageing)
Although previous research has linked polypharmacy to lower cognitive function in the general population, we know little about this association among economically challenged African American (AA) older adults. This study explored the link between polypharmacy and memory function among AA older adults. This community-based study recruited 399 AA older adults who were 65+ years old and living in economically disadvantaged areas of South Los Angeles. Polypharmacy (taking 5+ medications) was the independent variable, memory function was the outcome variable (continuous variable), and gender, age, living arrangement, socioeconomic status (educational attainment and financial strain), health behaviors (current smoking and any binge drinking), and multimorbidity (number of chronic diseases) were the covariates. Linear regression was used for data analyses. Polypharmacy was associated with lower scores on memory function, above and beyond covariates. Among AA older adults, polypharmacy may be linked to worse cognitive function. Future research should test the mechanisms by which polypharmacy is associated with lower levels of cognitive decline. There is a need for screening for memory problems in AA older adults who are exposed to polypharmacy. View Full-Text
Keywords: race; ethnicity; African American; aging; elderly; older adults; medication use; polypharmacy; memory; cognitive function; Black race; ethnicity; African American; aging; elderly; older adults; medication use; polypharmacy; memory; cognitive function; Black
MDPI and ACS Style

Assari, S.; Wisseh, C.; Saqib, M.; Bazargan, M. Polypharmacy Is Associated with Lower Memory Function in African American Older Adults. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 49.

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