Frailty and potentially inappropriate medications using the 2019 Beers Criteria: findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH)

Kaeshaelya Thiruchelvam, Julie Byles, Syed Shahzad Hasan, Nicholas Egan, Therese Kairuz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
Frailty is an essential consideration with potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs), especially among older women.

Aims
This study determined the use of potentially inappropriate medications according to frailty status using the Beers Criteria 2019, identified medications that should be flagged as potentially inappropriate and harmful depending on individual health factors, and determined the association between frailty and PIMs, adjusted for characteristics associated with PIMs.

Methods
This prospective longitudinal study included 9355 participants aged 77–82 years at baseline (2003). Frailty was measured using the FRAIL (fatigue, resistance, ambulation, illness and loss of weight) scale. Generalised estimating equations using log-binomial regressions determined the association between frailty and risk of using PIMs.

Results
Among participants who were frail and non-frail at baseline, the majority used ≥ 3 PIMs (74.2% and 58.5%, respectively). At 2017, the proportion using ≥ 3 PIMs remained constant in the frail group (72.0%) but increased in the non-frail group (66.0%). Commonly prescribed medications that may be potentially inappropriate in both groups included benzodiazepines, proton-pump inhibitors and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and risperidone was an additional contributor in the non-frail group. When adjusted for other characteristics, frail women had a 2% higher risk of using PIMs (RR 1.02; 95% CI 1.01, 1.03).

Conclusion
Given that the majority of frail women were using medications that may have been potentially inappropriate, it is important to consider both frailty and PIMs as indicators of health outcomes, and to review the need for PIMs for women aged 77–96 years who are frail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2499-2509
Number of pages11
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Volume33
Issue number9
Early online date15 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

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