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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1991 Nov;39(11):1093-9.

Is age an independent risk factor of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized medical patients?

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1
Gruppo Italiano di Farmacovigilanza nell'Anziano (G.I.F.A.), Società Italiana di Gerontologia e Geriatria, Roma, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study the incidence and the risk factors of adverse drug reactions.

DESIGN:

Multicenter survey.

SETTING:

Hospitalized care: 22 internal medicine and 19 geriatric wards.

PATIENTS:

All patients (n = 9,148) consecutively admitted during two observation periods of 2 months.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Incidence of adverse drug reactions.

RESULTS:

The mean age was 67.1 +/- 0.17 years (median 72); the mean duration of hospital stay was 18.1 +/- 0.19 days (median 14). Each patient was administered 5.1 +/- 0.03 (median 5) drug prescriptions. The incidence of probable or definite adverse drug reactions was 5.8% (532/9,148). In univariate analysis, the incidence of adverse drug reactions increased from 3.3% at under age 50 to 6.5% at age 70-79 and decreased over age 80 (5.8%). In multivariate logistic regression, taking more than four drugs (OR = 2.94, CI = 2.38-3.62), staying in hospital more than 14 days (OR = 2.82, CI = 2.26-3.52), having more than 4 active medical problems (OR = 1.78, CI = 1.29-2.45), staying in a medical ward instead of geriatric ward (OR = 1.33, CI = 1.09-1.63), and drinking alcohol (OR = 1.28, CI = 1.03-1.58) were positively correlated with adverse drug reactions occurrence (P less than 0.05). Age, gender, and smoking cigarettes were not significant predictors of adverse drug reactions.

CONCLUSION:

Age is not an independent risk factor of adverse drug reactions, and good geriatric care can reduce the incidence of adverse drug reactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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