0
Summaries for Patients |

Emergency Department Visits for Adverse Drug Events in Older Adults FREE

[+] Article and Author Information

The summary below is from the full report titled “Medication Use Leading to Emergency Department Visits for Adverse Drug Events in Older Adults.” It is in the 4 December 2007 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 147, pages 755-765). The authors are D.S. Budnitz, N. Shehab, S.R. Kegler, and C.L. Richards.


Ann Intern Med. 2007;147(11):I-24. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-147-11-200712040-00002
Text Size: A A A

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

Adverse drug events are unwanted conditions related to the side effects of drugs. Older people are at a higher risk for adverse drug events than younger people. This is partly because people tend to need to take more drugs as they get older, and older people are more susceptible to side effects than younger people. Adverse drug events are a common cause of emergency department visits among older adults. Some drugs are thought to be inappropriate for use in older people. A panel of investigators developed a list of drugs that were considered inappropriate to use in older people. Drugs on this list are sometimes called “Beers criteria drugs,” named for the investigator who convened the panel.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

To see how many emergency department visits for adverse drug events occur in older adults and which drugs were responsible for these visits. They also wanted to see whether Beers criteria drugs resulted in more emergency department visits than other drugs.

Who was studied?

The researchers used information for people 65 years of age and older in 2 databases to estimate the frequency of prescriptions for specific drugs and the frequency of emergency visits for adverse events related to specific drugs: a national survey of visits to doctors' offices and a national database of adverse drug events in 2004 and 2005.

How was the study done?

The researchers used the data to estimate the number of emergency department visits related to adverse events due to specific drugs that occur for older people in the United States each year. They looked at Beers criteria drugs and other drugs separately.

What did the researchers find?

The researchers estimated that U.S. persons 65 years of age or older have more than 175,000 emergency department visits related to adverse drug events each year. Only about 3.6 of every 100 of these visits are due to a Beers criteria drug. Three commonly used drugs (insulin, warfarin, and digoxin) accounted for one third of the visits.

What were the limitations of the study?

The researchers looked only at adverse drug events that led to emergency department visits. Many adverse drug events do not result in an emergency department visit. The researchers also did not have detailed information on how the drugs were being prescribed or used.

What are the implications of the study?

A very small percentage of emergency department visits for adverse drug events in older people are related to Beers criteria drugs. Strategies to prevent adverse drug events in older people should focus on warfarin, insulin, and digoxin, which are drugs that patients often need. There may be better ways to use or to monitor them to decrease side effects.

Figures

Tables

References

Letters

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Comments

Submit a Comment
Submit a Comment

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.

Toolkit

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Advertisement
Related Articles
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.
(Required)
(Required)