Half of Brits take prescription drugs daily

Almost half of UK adults (48 per cent) have taken at least one prescribed medicine in the last week, according to a new survey commissioned by NHS Digital.

The survey of more than 8,000 adults also showed that one quarter of people are on at least three drugs and 82 per cent of those aged 85 and over are on at least five types of medication.

The use of 10 or more prescribed medicines in the past week was shown to be relatively uncommon overall at just three per cent of all adults. Among older adults, the proportions who had used 10 or more prescribed medicines in the last week was six per cent of those aged 65 to 74 and 13 per cent of those aged 85 and over.

The survey was part of the Health Survey for England series which monitors trends in the nation's health and covers a differing variety of topics each year including obesity, smoking and drinking and wellbeing.

The wider report revealed that nearly two thirds of men (66 per cent) met national aerobic activity guidelines (a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week) in 2016 compared to 58 per cent of women. London had the highest proportion of people aged sixteen or over meeting the guidelines for aerobic activity, at 65 per cent, whereas the West Midlands had the lowest, at 53 per cent. On average, 62 per cent of adults in England met the guidelines.

When it came to mental health and wellbeing, most age groups showed some increase in probable mental ill health, with the largest increases reported among men aged 16-24 and 25-34 and women aged 16-24.


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