Table 1

Characteristics of oral glucocorticoid (GC) initiators, overall and according to the number of oral GC reimbursements over the year following treatment initiation (figures are percentages)

All GC initiatorsShort-term users*Mid-term users*Long-term users*
n=206 759n=139 703n=63 267n=3789
Age groups (years)
Mean number of reimbursements/year (±SD)1.6 (±1.4)1*2.5 (±0.8)9.2 (±3.1)
Comorbidities at risk for GC users†10.610.010.924.5
 Psychotic disorders2.
Identified GC recognised indications†27.323.733.461.1
 Obstructive pulmonary diseases21.319.126.026.2
 Rheumatic diseases1.
 Rheumatoid arthritis0.
 Polymyalgia rheumatica/giant cell arteritis0.
 Inflammatory bowel diseases0.
 Multiple sclerosis0.
Concurrent drugs at index date
 Respiratory/otological drugs‡
 Concurrent antibiotics and respiratory/otological drugs31.832.332.28.9
  • *Short-term users: one reimbursement/year; mid-term users: 2–5 reimbursements/year; long-term users: ≥6 reimbursements.

  • †At least one comorbiditie or indication.

  • ‡Nasal and throat preparations, antihistamines for systemic use, cough and cold preparations, and otological drugs.