Association of polypharmacy with fall-related fractures in older Taiwanese people: age- and gender-specific analyses.BMJ Open. 2014 Mar 28; 4(3):e004428.BO
To elucidate the associations between polypharmacy and age- and gender-specific risks of admission for fall-related fractures.
Nested case-control study.
This analysis was randomly selected from all elderly beneficiaries in 2007-2008, and represents some 30% of the whole older insurers using Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database.
We identified 5933 cases newly admitted for fall-related fractures during 2007-2008, and 29 665 random controls free from fracture.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES
Polypharmacy was defined as the use of fall-related drugs of four or more categories of medications and prescribed related to fall within a 1-year period. Logistic regression models were employed to estimate the ORs and related 95% CIs. The interaction of polypharmacy with age and sex was assessed separately.
Compared with those who consumed no category of medication, older people who consumed 1, 2, 3 and ≥4 categories of medications were all at significantly increased odds of developing fall-related fractures, with a significant dose-gradient pattern (β=0.7953; p for trend <0.0001). There were significant interactions between polypharmacy and age, but no significant interactions between polypharmacy and gender. The dose-gradient relationship between number of medications category and risk of fall-related fractures was more obvious in women than in men (β=0.1962 vs β=0.1873). Additionally, it was most evident in older people aged 75-84 years (β=0.2338).
This population-based study in Taiwan confirms the link between polypharmacy and increased risk of fall-related fractures in older people; and highlights that elderly women and older people aged 75-84 years will be the targeted participants for further prevention from fall-related fractures caused by polypharmacy.