Risk factors for polypharmacy in older adults in a primary care setting: a cross-sectional study
Authors Ersoy S, Engin VS
Received 5 June 2018
Accepted for publication 5 September 2018
Published 15 October 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 2003—2011
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker
Suleyman Ersoy,1 Velittin Selcuk Engin2
1Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Karabuk University, Karabuk, Turkey; 2Melekhatun Family Practice Center, Ministry of Health, Istanbul 34340, Turkey
Purpose: Polypharmacy (PP) is a clinical challenge in older adults. Therefore, assessment of daily drug consumption (DDC) and its relationships is important. First-line health services have a crucial role in monitoring and preventing PP. In this study, we aimed to assess DDC and investigate the risk factors for higher DDC among older adults in a primary care setting.
Patients and methods: A total of 1,000 patients aged ≥65 years who visited Melek Hatun Family Practice Center between December 1, 2014, and August 1, 2017, were enrolled in the study. All patients were seen either at the center or in their homes, and informed consent was obtained. Comprehensive geriatric assessment was performed for each subject. Data were analyzed using SPSS software (version 17). The daily number of medicines that each patient used (DDC) regardless of whether they were prescribed was the dependent variable. Relationships between DDC and other continuous variables were examined using Pearson’s correlation. For between-group comparisons of DDC, Student’s t-tests were performed.
Results: Univariate tests showed relationships between DDC and various demographic and clinical parameters. The variables that remained significant at the last step of a stepwise linear regression analysis were metabolic syndrome, chronic pain, incontinence, increased serum creatinine level, increased Geriatric Depression Scale scores, reported gastric disturbances, and neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio.
Conclusion: Along with certain chronic conditions, depressive symptoms and an inflammatory marker (neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio) were significantly and independently related to higher DDC. Longitudinal and larger studies are needed to further explore the multifaceted relationships of PP.
Keywords: polypharmacy, older adult, primary care, Geriatric Depression Scale, metabolic syndrome, neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio
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