University of Tasmania

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Adverse drug reaction-related hospitalisations among people with dementia

Introduction. Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) entail a substantial burden not only on patients but also on the healthcare system. Trends in the incidence of ADR-related hospitalisations have been studied in the general population, but not specifically in people with dementia.

Aims. This study investigated trends in the incidence of ADR-related hospitalisations among people with dementia, and identified the most frequently implicated drugs and diagnoses in these admissions.

Methods. Analysis of administrative data including all adults admitted to the four major public hospitals of Tasmania, Australia, with a primary or secondary diagnosis of dementia from July 2010 to December 2019. ADR-related hospitalisations were identified by using diagnosis-based and external cause codes. The Cochran-Armitage test was used to examine trends in the incidence of ADR-related hospitalisations.

Results. Of the 7,552 eligible people admitted to the hospital at least once, within the study period, 1,775 (23.5%) experienced at least one ADR-related hospitalisation. The annual incidence of ADR-related hospitalisation increased 18% (estimated 1,484 to 1,760 per 100,000 population with dementia, p for trend <0.05) from 2010 to 2019. Males accounted for 51% of patients with an ADR-related hospitalisation, but only 45% of those without (p <0.001). For those ADR-related admissions with a drug code recorded, 19.3% were due to antithrombotics and 11.5% to antihypertensives. The most frequent ADR-related admission diagnoses were renal diseases (72.9%). Length of hospital stay (median: 7 vs 5 days (ADR vs non- ADR)) and in-hospital mortality (11% vs 6.7% ((ADR vs non- ADR)) were both significantly greater for ADR-related hospitalisations.

Discussion. The annual incidence of ADR-related hospitalisations in people with dementia increased between 2010 and 2019. Antithrombotics were the most commonly implicated drug class. The ADR-related hospitalisations were associated with increased length of stay and greater mortality. Strategies focusing on identifying the risk of ADR-related hospitalisation and cautious prescribing of implicated medicines could help mitigate the burden of ADR-related hospital admissions.


Publication title

APSA-ASCEPT 2022 Joint Conference Book of Abstracts




Tasmanian School of Medicine

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APSA-ASCEPT 2022 Joint Conference

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Evaluation of health outcomes

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