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Medication Use During Pregnancy in Mainland China: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of a National Health Insurance Database

Authors Zhang J, Ung COL, Wagner AK, Guan X, Shi L

Received 11 September 2019

Accepted for publication 20 November 2019

Published 10 December 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 1057—1065


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Henrik Toft Sørensen

Jingyuan Zhang,1 Carolina Oi Lam Ung,2 Anita Katharina Wagner,3 Xiaodong Guan,1,3,4 Luwen Shi1,4

1Department of Pharmacy Administration and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macao, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, MA, USA; 4International Research Center for Medicinal Administration, Peking University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Luwen Shi; Xiaodong Guan
Department of Pharmacy Administration and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
Tel/Fax +86-010-82805019; +86-13911232199

Purpose: This study aims to illustrate the prevalence and patterns of medication use among pregnant women in mainland China.
Patients and methods: Hospital and drugstore service data for a nationally representative sample of basic medical insurance (BMI) beneficiaries in 2015 were obtained from the China Health Insurance Association (CHIRA) database. A total of 7946 women who had singleton deliveries in 2015, aged between 12 and 54, and whose records in the CHIRA database covered at least one trimester were included in this study. We conducted descriptive analyses of sample characteristics, medication use prevalence, and number and types of medications used.
Results: We found that 11.7% of women used at least one medication during the course of pregnancy (median number of medications used = 6.7). Medication use was more common among those who were older, residing in Eastern China, or employed. Most commonly used medication groups by the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System were B (Blood and blood forming organs, 49.3%), A (Alimentary tract and metabolism, 48.1%), G (Genito urinary system and sex hormones, 38.1%) and J (Antiinfectives for systemic use, 31.6%). Intravenous solutions, vitamins and minerals, progestogens, and beta-lactam antibacterials were the most frequently used medications from each of these four ATC groups, respectively. Moreover, 7.1% used at least one medication contraindicated in pregnancy.
Conclusion: This study showed that around one in 10 women used medication during pregnancy in mainland China and found possible cases of inappropriate or unsafe medication use.

Keywords: medication use, pregnancy, China, cross-sectional, health insurance database

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