Risk Factors For Drug-Related Problems Causing Emergency Department Visits In Older Adults
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Prior research has shown that polypharmacy and the use of inappropriate medication increases the risk of drug-related emergency department visits. This has been investigated in the context of medications alone without considering social, economic and patient specific factors. The present study investigated which factors increase the risk of drug-related emergency department visits in older adults. Potential factors included frailty, medication appropriateness, cognitive status, education level achieved and social vulnerability. Backward stepwise binary logistic regression was used to examine multiple potential risk factors for drug-related emergency department visits in older adults. The analysis showed that narcotic drug use, any anticholinergic drug use, lack of social supports and increased use of inappropriate medications as identified by an increased medication appropriateness index increased the risk of drug-related hospital visits. This suggests that avoidance of inappropriate medications and adequate social support are important in avoiding drug-related emergency department visits in older adults.