Geriatric conditions and adverse drug reactions in elderly hospitalized patients

Fabrizia Lattanzio, Irma Laino, Claudio Pedone, Francesco Corica, Giuseppe Maltese, Giovanni Salerno, Sabrina Garasto, Andrea Corsonello, Raffaele Antonelli Incalzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To investigate the relationship between clinical conditions typically observed in the geriatric patients (geriatric conditions) and adverse drug reactions in older patients admitted to acute care hospitals. Design and Setting: Prospective observational study conducted in 11 acute care medical wards throughout Italy. Participants: Five hundred six patients aged 65 years or older consecutively admitted to participating wards. Measurements: The outcome of the study was the occurrence of any adverse drug reactions during the hospital stay. Geriatric conditions considered in the analysis were basic activities of daily living, history of falls, slow walking speed, malnutrition, dementia, depression, 1 or more unplanned admissions in the previous 3 months, history of stroke, unintentional weight loss, and exhaustion. The relationship between risk factors and outcomes was assessed using logistic regression. Results: Female gender (odds ratio [OR] 2.29; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.18-4.45) and number of medications taken during hospitalization (OR 1.12; 95% CI 1.06-1.18), but not individual Geriatric conditions, were associated with the outcome after correction for potential confounders. However, the simultaneous presence of history of falls and dependency in at least 1 activities of daily living (OR 2.18; 95% CI 1.13-4.19) was associated with adverse drug reactions during stay. Conclusion: The simultaneous presence of history of falls and dependency in at least one activity of daily living defines a condition of particular vulnerability of elderly hospitalized patients to adverse drug reactions. Physicians should be aware of this high-risk condition when prescribing new drugs to disabled older people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-99
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Activities of daily living
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Elderly
  • Falls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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