Anticholinergic Drug Use and Negative Outcomes Among the Frail Elderly Population Living in a Nursing Home

Francesco Landi, Giuseppina Dell'Aquila, Agnese Collamati, Anna Maria Martone, Giovanni Zuliani, Beatrice Gasperini, Paolo Eusebi, Fabrizia Lattanzio, Antonio Cherubini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Increasing evidence from experimental studies and clinical observations suggests that drugs with anticholinergic properties can cause physical and mental impairment. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between the use of drugs with anticholinergic activity and negative outcomes in older nursing home residents. Methods: We used data from the database of the U.L.I.S.S.E project (Un Link Informatico sui Servizi Sanitari Esistenti per l'Anziani), a prospective multicenter observational study. Patients from 31 facilities in Italy were assessed at baseline and at 6 and 12months by trained personnel, using the Minimum Data Set for Nursing Home (MDS-NH). The only exclusion criterion was age younger than 65years. The Anticholinergic Risk Scale (ARS), a list of commonly prescribed drugs with potential anticholinergic effects, was used to calculate the anticholinergic load. Results: A total population of 1490 patients was analyzed; almost half of the sample (48%) was using drugs with anticholinergic properties. The population of patients with ARS 1 or higher had a higher comorbidity index (. P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-829
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Anticholinergic medications
  • Delirium
  • Falls
  • Functional decline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health Policy


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