In identifying patient-specific risk factors, the major role played by drugs in modern healthcare cannot be over-emphasized. The per capita utilization of prescription medications, predicated on the top 200 drugs dispensed by U.S. community pharmacies is about 12 prescriptions per person per year.19-21 Adults over 50 years of age consume the largest volume of prescription medications and account for 64% of the total number of prescriptions dispensed.
To test the hypothesis that the top 200 drugs reliably reflect disease trends in oral healthcare settings, data were collected (age, gender, medical diagnoses, and pharmacological status), tabulated, and evaluated on 1,000 consecutive patients in a large general dental practice. Cardiovascular drugs identified by the current and a previous survey closely mirror those in the top 200 and fall into 10 sub-classes (Tables 1-10).19-22
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