Anticholinergic burden in adult and elderly people with intellectual disabilities: Results from an Italian multicenter cross-sectional study.PLoS One. 2018; 13(10):e0205897.Plos
Adults and older people with intellectual disabilities (ID) frequently receive anti-cholinergic drugs in chronic use, but no studies in Italy to date have investigated cumulative anticholinergic exposure and factors associated with high anticholinergic burden in this frail population.
To probe the cumulative exposure to anticholinergics and the demographic, social and clinical factors associated with high exposure.
The 2012 updated version of the Anticholinergic Burden Score (ACB) was calculated for a multicentre sample of 276 adult and older people over 40 years with ID and associations with factors assessed.
Overall, antipsychotics, antiepileptics, anxiolytics, and antidepressants were the most frequent classes contributing to the total ACB score. People living in residential care were more likely exposed to high anticholinergic burden (an ACB score of 3+): both community housing (odds ratio [OR] 4.63, 95%CI 1.08-19.95) and nursing home facility ([OR] 9.99, 95%CI 2.32-43.04). There was also a significant association between an ACB score of 3+ and reporting mental health conditions ([OR] 25.56, 95% CI 8.08-80.89) or a neurological disease ([OR] 4.14, 95%CI 1.32-12.94). Neither demographic characteristics (age and gender) nor other clinical conditions (somatic comorbidity, levels and typology of ID) were associated with higher anticholinergic load. A high burden of anticholinergic was significantly more frequent in laxative users (22.6% ACB3+ vs. 5.1% ACB 0) (p = 0.003).
Psychotropics drugs were the highest contributors to the anticholinergic burden in adult and old age ID, especially in those people living in institutional settings with mental health and/or neurological conditions. High anticholinergic load has shown to be associated with the use of laxatives.