Background: Age, gender and geographical regions are recognised factors in inequalities in prescribing for chronic diseases in the elderly.
Aim: To compare the health board regional distribution of chronic disease among the elderly and to examine variation in quality prescribing across age, gender and regions.
Methods: Population based study of prescribing for chronic disease using a national pharmacy claims database. All individuals aged 70 years and over (n = 271,518) were eligible.
Results: Over 60% of the elderly in all regions received cardiovascular related medication. The South Eastern, North Western and Western Health Boards had below average prescribing for many chronic conditions. Logistic regression identified age, gender and regional variations in prescribing of preventative therapies for CVD and diabetes.
Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of prescribing for chronic conditions in the elderly in Ireland, and there is evidence of gender, age and residing health board inequalities in prescribing.