Prevalence of polypharmacy in community-dwelling older adults from seven centres in five European countries : A cross-sectional study of DO-HEALTH
de Godoi Rezende Costa Molino, Caroline, Chocano-Bedoya, Patricia O., Sadlon, Angélique, Theiler, Robert, Orav, John E., Vellas, Bruno, Rizzoli, Rene, Kressig, Reto W., Kanis, John A., Guyonnet, Sophie, Lang, Wei, Egli, Andreas and Bischoff-Ferrari, Heike A.. (2022). Prevalence of polypharmacy in community-dwelling older adults from seven centres in five European countries : A cross-sectional study of DO-HEALTH. BMJ Open. 12(4), p. Article e051881. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-051881
|Authors||de Godoi Rezende Costa Molino, Caroline, Chocano-Bedoya, Patricia O., Sadlon, Angélique, Theiler, Robert, Orav, John E., Vellas, Bruno, Rizzoli, Rene, Kressig, Reto W., Kanis, John A., Guyonnet, Sophie, Lang, Wei, Egli, Andreas and Bischoff-Ferrari, Heike A.|
Objective To investigate the prevalence of polypharmacy and characteristics associated with polypharmacy in older adults from seven European cities.
Design Cross-sectional study of baseline data from DO-HEALTH.
Setting and participants DO-HEALTH enrolled 2157 community-dwelling adults age 70 and older from seven centres in Europe. Participants were excluded if they had major health problems or Mini-Mental State Examination Score <24 at baseline.
Primary outcome measures Extensive information on prescription and over-the-counter medications were recorded. Polypharmacy was defined as the concomitant use of five or more medications, excluding vitamins or dietary supplements. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression was used to test the association of sociodemographic factors (age, sex, years of education, living situation and city) and health-related indicators (number of comorbidities, cognitive function, frailty status, body mass index (BMI), prior fall, self-rated health and smoking status) with polypharmacy.
Results 27.2% of participants reported polypharmacy ranging from 16.4% in Geneva to 60.8% in Coimbra. In the multivariable logistic regression analyses, older age (OR 1.07; 95% CI 1.04 to 1.10), greater BMI (OR 1.09; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.12) and increased number of comorbidities (OR 2.13; 95% CI 1.92 to 2.36) were associated with polypharmacy. Women were less likely to report polypharmacy than men (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.51 to 0.84). In comparison to participants from Zurich, participants from Coimbra were more likely to report polypharmacy (OR 2.36; 95% CI 1.56 to 3.55), while participants from Geneva or Toulouse were less likely to report polypharmacy ((OR 0.36; 95% CI 0.22 to 0.59 and OR 0.64; 95% CI 0.42 to 0.96), respectively). Living situation, smoking status, years of education, prior fall, cognitive function, self-rated health and frailty status were not significantly associated with polypharmacy.
Conclusion Polypharmacy is common among relatively healthy older adults, with moderate variability across seven European cities. Independent of several confounders, being a woman, older age, greater BMI and greater number of comorbidities were associated with increased odds for polypharmacy.
Trial registration number NCT01745263.
|Journal citation||12 (4), p. Article e051881|
|Publisher||BMJ Publishing Group|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-051881|
|PubMed Central ID||PMC9058693|
|Open access||Published as ‘gold’ (paid) open access|
|Funder||Seventh Framework Programme, European Commission|
|University of Zurich|
File Access Level
|Online||29 Apr 2022|
|Publication process dates|
|Accepted||10 Apr 2022|
|Deposited||08 Feb 2023|
|License: CC BY-NC 4.0|
|File access level: Open|
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