Reduce the proportion of older adults who use inappropriate medications — OA‑02 Data Methodology and Measurement

About the National Data


Baseline: 15.9 percent of adults aged 65 years and over used inappropriate medications in 2015

Target: 11.2 percent

Number of adults aged 65 years and over with basic activity limitations, complex activity limitations, or neither who received 1 or more of 33 potentially inappropriate medications during the calendar year as determined by the Beers criteria.
Number of adults aged 65 years and over with basic activity limitations, complex activity limitations, or neither.
Target-setting method
Target-setting method details
Linear trend fitted using weighted least squares and a projection at the 50 percent prediction interval.
Target-setting method justification
Trend data were evaluated for this objective. Using historical data points, a trend line was fitted using weighted least squares, and the trend was projected into the next decade. This method was used because three or more comparable data points were available, the projected value was within the range of possible values, and a projection at the 50 percent prediction interval was selected because no additional information could be used to assess the trend line, so the target was based on the projection.


Methodology notes

The Beers criteria provide a list of medications that are generally considered inappropriate when given to elderly people because these medications may pose more risk than benefit. For a wide variety of individual reasons, the medications listed tend to cause side effects in the elderly due to the physiologic changes of aging. The criteria were created through consensus of a panel of experts. According to the established Beers criteria, drugs that should always be avoided for adults over age 65 include barbiturates, flurazepam, meprobamate, chlorpropamide, meperidine, pentazocine, trimethobenzamide, belladonna alkaloids, dicyclomine, hyoscyamine, and propantheline. Drugs that should often be avoided for adults over age 65 include carisoprodol, chlorzoxazone, cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone, methocarbamol, amitriptyline, chlordiazepoxide, diazepam, doxepin, indomethacin, dipyridamole, ticlopidine, methyldopa, reserpine, disopyramide, oxybutynin, chlorpheniramine, cyproheptadine, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, promethazine, and propoxyphene. Individuals are considered to receive inappropriate medications if they indicate that they purchased any of the medications on the Beers list as listed in the numerator section.


Comparable HP2020 objective
Modified, which includes core objectives that are continuing from Healthy People 2020 but underwent a change in measurement.
Changes between HP2020 and HP2030
This objective differs from Healthy People 2020 objective DH-7 in that DH-7 tracked older adults with activity limitations who used inappropriate medications while this objective tracks all older adults who use inappropriate medications.

1. Because Healthy People 2030 objectives have a desired direction (e.g., increase or decrease), the confidence level of a one-sided prediction interval can be used as an indication of how likely a target will be to achieve based on the historical data and fitted trend.