Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Frailty not a factor in adverse drug reactions among seniors, study finds

Date:
April 8, 2011
Source:
University of California - San Francisco
Summary:
Contrary to popular belief among physicians, frailty in elderly patients is not associated with an increased risk of adverse reactions to medications, according to a new study.

Contrary to popular belief among physicians, frailty in elderly patients is not associated with an increased risk of adverse reactions to medications, according to a study led by Michael Steinman, MD, a geriatrician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Related Articles


The study of 377 patients age 65 or older appears in the online Early View section of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

"There is a common, and reasonable, perception among clinicians that older people who are unable to carry out activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and walking without assistance are more vulnerable to adverse reactions from new medications," said Steinman, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. "However, we found no association between degree of frailty and a patient's risk of adverse drug reactions."

Instead, Steinman and his fellow researchers found evidence to suggest that the greatest risk factor for an adverse drug reaction was the number of new medications that had been added recently to a patient's medication regimen.

This makes sense, observed Steinman. "If you've been on a drug for a while, the chance of your suddenly developing an adverse reaction to it is relatively low," he said, "whereas when you start a new drug, that's the time when most adverse reactions will occur."

Steinman cautioned that the study is not definitive. "Nonetheless," he said, "this indicates to physicians that they should not necessarily let their concerns about adverse reactions overrule other considerations" when deciding whether to prescribe a potentially beneficial drug to a frail elderly patient. "We want to exercise due caution," he noted, "but we don't need to be as fearful as we think we do when prescribing for our older patients."

Co-authors of the study are Brian C. Lund, PharmD, of Iowa City VA Medical Center and the University of Iowa; Yinghui Miao, MPH, of SFVAMC; W. John Boscardin, PhD, of SFVAMC and UCSF; and Peter J. Kaboli, MD, of ICVAMC and UI.

The study was supported by funds from the National Institute on Aging, the American Federation for Aging Research, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Center for Research in the Implementation of Innovative Strategies in Practice at ICVAMC. Some of the funds were administered by the Northern California Institute for Research and Education.

NCIRE -- The Veterans Health Research Institute -- is the largest research institute associated with a VA medical center. Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of veterans and the general public by supporting a world-class biomedical research program conducted by the UCSF faculty at SFVAMC.

SFVAMC has the largest medical research program in the national VA system, with more than 200 research scientists, all of whom are faculty members at UCSF.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael A. Steinman, Brian C. Lund, Yinghui Miao, W. John Boscardin, Peter J. Kaboli. Geriatric Conditions, Medication Use, and Risk of Adverse Drug Events in a Predominantly Male, Older Veteran Population. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03331.x

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Francisco. "Frailty not a factor in adverse drug reactions among seniors, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110407092042.htm>.
University of California - San Francisco. (2011, April 8). Frailty not a factor in adverse drug reactions among seniors, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110407092042.htm
University of California - San Francisco. "Frailty not a factor in adverse drug reactions among seniors, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110407092042.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins