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Inappropriate pharmacological treatment in older adults affected by cardiovascular disease and other chronic comorbidities: a systematic literature review to identify potentially inappropriate prescription indicators

Authors Lucenteforte E, Lombardi N, Vetrano DL, La Carpia D, Mitrova Z, Kirchmayer U, Corrao G, Lapi F, Mugelli A, Vannacci A

Received 18 March 2017

Accepted for publication 28 July 2017

Published 19 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 1761—1778


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Ersilia Lucenteforte,1 Niccolò Lombardi,1,* Davide Liborio Vetrano,2,* Domenico La Carpia,2,* Zuzana Mitrova,3 Ursula Kirchmayer,3 Giovanni Corrao,4 Francesco Lapi,5 Alessandro Mugelli,1 Alfredo Vannacci1

On behalf of the Italian Group for Appropriate Drug prescription in the Elderly (I-GrADE)

1Department of Neurosciences, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health (NEUROFARBA), University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 2Department of Geriatrics Catholic University, Rome, Italy; 3Department of Epidemiology, ASL 1 Rome, Italy; 4Department of Statistics and Quantitative Methods, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy; 5Epidemiology Unit, ARS Toscana, Florence, Italy

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Avoiding medications in which the risks outweigh the benefits in the elderly patient is a challenge for physicians, and different criteria to identify inappropriate prescription (IP) exist to aid prescribers. Definition of IP indicators in the Italian geriatric population affected by cardiovascular disease and chronic comorbidities could be extremely useful for prescribers and could offer advantages from a public health perspective. The purpose of the present study was to identify IP indicators by means of a systematic literature review coupled with consensus criteria. A systematic search of PubMed, EMBASE, and CENTRAL databases was conducted, with the search structured around four themes and combining each with the Boolean operator “and”. The first regarded “prescriptions”, the second “adverse events”, the third “cardiovascular conditions”, and the last was planned to identify studies on “older people”. Two investigators independently reviewed titles, abstracts, full texts, and selected articles addressing IP in the elderly affected by cardiovascular condition using the following inclusion criteria: studies on people aged ≥65 years; studies on patients with no restriction on age but with data on subjects aged ≥65 years; and observational effectiveness studies. The database searches produced 5,742 citations. After removing duplicates, titles and abstracts of 3,880 records were reviewed, and 374 full texts were retrieved that met inclusion criteria. Thus, 49 studies reporting 32 potential IP indicators were included in the study. IP indicators regarded mainly drug–drug interactions, cardio- and cerebrovascular risk, bleeding risk, and gastrointestinal risk; among them, only 19 included at least one study that showed significant results, triggering a potential warning for a specific drug or class of drugs in a specific context. This systematic review demonstrates that both cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular drugs increase the risk of adverse drug reactions in older adults with cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: inappropriate prescriptions, elderly, cardiovascular diseases, chronic diseases, systematic review

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