The use of medications with anticholinergic properties and risk factors for their use in hospitalised elderly patients
Article first published online: 13 JUN 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Volume 21, Issue 2, pages 170–176, February 2012
How to Cite
Wawruch, M., Macugova, A., Kostkova, L., Luha, J., Dukat, A., Murin, J., Drobna, V., Wilton, L. and Kuzelova, M. (2012), The use of medications with anticholinergic properties and risk factors for their use in hospitalised elderly patients. Pharmacoepidem. Drug Safe., 21: 170–176. doi: 10.1002/pds.2169
- Issue published online: 25 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 13 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 APR 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 30 MAR 2011
- Manuscript Received: 12 DEC 2010
- VEGA. Grant Number: 1/0135/09
- Centre of Excellence for Strokes at the Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University. Grant Number: 26240120024
- European Reconstruction and Development Fund
- risk factors;
The aims of the present study were to evaluate the use of drugs with anticholinergic properties in elderly patients and to identify risk factors that increase the patient's chance of being given such medications.
The study was performed on a sample of 1636 patients aged ≥65 years hospitalised during the period between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2009 in three municipal hospitals. To evaluate the factors influencing the use of anticholinergic medications, we compared two groups—users and non-users of such drugs—in terms of sociodemographic and clinical characteristics as well as comorbid conditions. The most important risk factors were identified using the binary logistic regression model.
Hospitalisation led to a significant increase in the prevalence of anticholinergic medication users, when comparing their occurrence at the time of hospital admission and discharge (10.5% and 14.2%, respectively; p < 0.001). A significantly higher total number of prescribed drugs were found in the group of users compared with non-users, at both hospital admission (7.2 ± 3.5 vs 5.7 ± 3.1; p < 0.001) and discharge (8.7 ± 3.1 vs 7.5 ± 2.9; p < 0.001). Immobilisation, urinary incontinence and retention, constipation, gastroduodenal ulcer disease as well as neurologic and psychiatric comorbidities (depression, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy) appeared as the most important risk factors of using anticholinergic medications.
Physicians should be aware of the greater risk of adverse anticholinergic effects of drugs in certain therapeutic classes in the elderly. In patients with risk factors mentioned previously, special attention should be paid to active identification of anticholinergic effects of medications. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.