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.

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 August 22, 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 August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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