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Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2016 Sep;72(9):1143-53. doi: 10.1007/s00228-016-2084-3. Epub 2016 Jul 5.

Drug-related hospital admissions among old people with dementia.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. maria.gustafsson@umu.se.
2
Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. maria.gustafsson@umu.se.
3
Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
4
Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Drug treatment associated problems are common and are the cause of a large proportion of hospitalizations in old people. People with dementia are especially at risk of drug-related problems. The objectives of this study were to assess the occurrence and character of drug-related problems that lead to acute hospital admissions among old people (≥65 years) with dementia or cognitive impairment.

METHODS:

This study was conducted in orthopedic and internal medicine wards in two hospitals in Northern Sweden. Information about acute admissions was collected from the medical records. A total of 458 people aged 65 years or older with dementia or cognitive impairment were included in the study. The contribution of drug-related problems to each hospitalization was assessed.

RESULTS:

Of 458 acute hospital admissions, 189 (41.3 %) were determined to be drug-related. The most common drug-related problem (86/189; 45.5 %) was an adverse drug reaction. In total, 264 drugs were judged to be involved in 189 drug-related admissions, of which cardiovascular (29.5 %) and psychotropic (26.9 %) drugs were the most commonly involved drug classes. The relationship between the drug-related problem and the admission was judged certain in 25 cases, probable in 78 cases, and possible in 86 cases. Drug-related admissions were more common among people taking more drugs (p = 0.035) and among younger patients (p = 0.031).

CONCLUSION:

Drug-related problems appear to be responsible for a major proportion of hospitalizations among old people with dementia or cognitive impairment. Targeted interventions such as education and medication reviews may be warranted to reduce drug-related problems.

KEYWORDS:

Dementia; Drug-related hospitalizations; Drug-related problems; Old people

PMID:
27377393
DOI:
10.1007/s00228-016-2084-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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